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Licensing (or stealing from users)


Guest TimRiker
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Guest TimRiker

Anyone actually read the geopoint download license? I never agreed to any kind of license before I posted to this site, and not I find that GROUNDED, INC. D/B/A GEOCACHING.COM (GROUNDED) is claiming full ownership of any information I published on this site. I wonder if they think they own this message too?

 

I feel as if they are stealing from me. Anyone else feel this way? This is information posted to a public forum, yet now they claim excusive ownership. Something smells funny here to me.

 

[This message has been edited by TimRiker (edited 02 July 2001).]

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Guest bunkerdave

Ack! Been here, done this. Ad nauseum. Enough already. Go to the "Pin-map" discussion thread, and read all you want about this. PLEASE don't start another thread.

 

I empathize with your concern over this. The discussion has been held, and we actually resolved quite a bit.

 

[This message has been edited by bunkerdave (edited 02 July 2001).]

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Guest cavetoad

don't like it? don't post.

we had this 'ownership of information' battle/discussion not too long ago so go read that if you're interested.

but I'd give up on trying to stir the pot again on it. and besides, what are you posting to this public forum that you're so possessive of anyway? If you didn't want folks to get to the cache you wouldn't post it here!

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Guest ClayJar

quote:
Originally posted by Hawk-eye:

Question ... you don't have men in black suits ... and unmarked black helicopters following you ... do you? icon_biggrin.gif


 

Um, should I be worried about those? I thought they were just doing one of those candid pop-documentaries on me or something. tongue.gif

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Guest ClayJar

quote:
Originally posted by Hawk-eye:

Question ... you don't have men in black suits ... and unmarked black helicopters following you ... do you? icon_biggrin.gif


 

Um, should I be worried about those? I thought they were just doing one of those candid pop-documentaries on me or something. tongue.gif

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Guest TimRiker

I think many of you are missing the point.

 

This _is_ a _public_ game. Not a game owned by some corporation. The license should reflect that. I have no issues with anyone doing whatever they like with the info I post. I expect that. It's public domain.

 

What I do not expect is a corporation to step in and claim they own it an forbid others from doing whatever they like with the data. This makes it _private_ not _public_.

 

Please, do what ever you like with info I post. But do not forbid others from doing the same.

 

--

Tim Riker - http://rikers.org/ - short SIGs!

All I need to know I could have learned in Kindergarten

... if I'd just been paying attention.

 

[This message has been edited by TimRiker (edited 02 July 2001).]

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Guest brownbag

I suspect you need to use alt.geocaching as your geocaching site. At least that one would actually be "public". Almost every BBS and Web site that invites the public to participate seems to have people who think the site is therefore "public". Then they get upset if their is any censorship, moderation and rules. The concept of placing caches of goodies and having other people find them is a lot more "public" than this particular site. This site is no more "public" than your web site. It is just run more publicly. I for one am happy with the current arrangement.

 

I wouldn't sue Jeremy for using quotes from my posted cache logs. There are others who would. I know, because I've been involved in another site where that happened. You just have to have clauses like the ones Jeremy has.

 

It's not like it's a secret. It's on every page in the site.

 

[This message has been edited by brownbag (edited 02 July 2001).]

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Guest PneumaticDeath

quote:
Originally posted by jeremy:

I'll bite. What do you want to do with the data that the site forbids you to do?


 

I don't think the issue is what the current license says, it's what can be done (or not done) with the information in the future. Or, to put it more briefly: the CDDB problem.

 

The recent unplesantness with Ed Hall underscores the problem. The information becomes the property of "Grounded, Inc." Which (if I understand correctly) is solely owned by you. What is to keep you from turning www.geocaching.com into a pay site, with the original cachers unable to republish the information about their own caches?

 

This is not an idle worry. This has happened before with sites contructed around data collected from the community. Sometimes it's amicable (www.imdb.com) and sometimes it's not (www.cddb.com, now called www.gracenote.com) I think some sort of community licensing system (like the GPL, but geared for data rather than code) is the answer.

 

-- Mitch

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Guest c.mathis

quote:
Originally posted by TimRiker:

I never agreed to any kind of license before I posted to this site...


 

Oh, but you DID agree. When you posted you agreed to the license.

 

If you didn't read the license before you posted that's your oversight.

 

Nobody has stolen anything from you.

You gave it away.

 

By the way, this is NOT a "public" site. It is owned by someone. icon_smile.gif

 

[This message has been edited by c.mathis (edited 02 July 2001).]

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Guest c.mathis

quote:
Originally posted by TimRiker:

I never agreed to any kind of license before I posted to this site...


 

Oh, but you DID agree. When you posted you agreed to the license.

 

If you didn't read the license before you posted that's your oversight.

 

Nobody has stolen anything from you.

You gave it away.

 

By the way, this is NOT a "public" site. It is owned by someone. icon_smile.gif

 

[This message has been edited by c.mathis (edited 02 July 2001).]

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Guest jeremy

I guess I'll just stand by my original posting that traditional geocaching will never be pay to play on the site. It's downright silly, really, to even consider it.

 

The game will never be "open source." An open source game like linux checkers is one thing, but when caches can cause a personal health or safety hazard (like a downed powerline, flood, etc that makes the area hazardous), or an impact to the environment, I need to be able to remove those caches or modify their coordinates (or allow the users do this).

 

Doing "whatever you want" with the coordinates is just bad manners, but this kind of action is also a detriment to the sport. To make that clear I must put safeties in place.

 

And I do not have "full ownership" of the cache data. You have the right to do whatever you want with your own cache data. I don't own or want to own your physical cache either.

 

I'm not "stealing" anything. If you want to sensationalize something, go to F*dcompany.

 

Jeremy

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Guest PneumaticDeath

ve it" debate. Nobody in the community will benifit from having 30 different geocaching sites.

 

quote:

I wouldn't sue Jeremy for using quotes from my posted cache logs. There are others who would.


 

My concern is that Jeremy could sue ME for using my own cache information, or log entries. I'm not saying that I want it all thrown into the public domain, but that the license should say explicitly how the information is to be used, by whom, and how the ownership devolves in the future. I don't want to spend a lot of time typing in cache information that then becomes the sole property of corporation. which later prevents anybody else from using it.

 

I realize that Jeremy is providing this site at his own expense, and has built it himself. I don't contest any of that. In fact I appreciate it a great deal. And while I realize that some of this is most likely to cover his own hiney in case somebody gets hurt, lost, etc. while seeking a cache that they found here, it doesn't deal with the fact that in the past datasets built up by communities of 100,000's of users (with the informal understanding that the data were for the use of the whole community) have been made the property of corporations, which then sue members of that community who try to use it. I've seen that happen too.

 

-- Mitch

 

[This message has been edited by PneumaticDeath (edited 02 July 2001).]

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Guest jeremy

quote:
Originally posted by PneumaticDeath:

My concern is that Jeremy could sue ME for using my own cache information.


 

No. I wouldn't do that. I'm no lawyer (I had someone help me with it), but I don't think it says anywhere that you can't use your own information wherever you want. If you want to post your cache info (or log info) to your own page, or sell it, or whatever, that's up to you.

 

Jeremy

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Guest bigmancam2

quote:
Something spells funny here to me.

 

Me too. A new Geocacher myself, it disappoints me to see such an attempt to stir up contreversy. Someone who has just registered today made his first post with a complete negative attitude, ignoring the overwhelming postitive aspects of the great game of geocaching. I recognize the fact that he regards his personal privacy important, but questioning the the rules and licenses of geocaching isn't as important as playing the game itself. Let's lighten up icon_smile.gif and just have fun geocaching!

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Guest bigmancam2

quote:
Something spells funny here to me.

 

Me too. A new Geocacher myself, it disappoints me to see such an attempt to stir up contreversy. Someone who has just registered today made his first post with a complete negative attitude, ignoring the overwhelming postitive aspects of the great game of geocaching. I recognize the fact that he regards his personal privacy important, but questioning the the rules and licenses of geocaching isn't as important as playing the game itself. Let's lighten up icon_smile.gif and just have fun geocaching!

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Guest TimRiker

c.mathis:

 

I do not recall agreeing to any license before I posted. There is no license that shows up anywhere in the signup procedure that generates an email, and I do not recall ever giving excusive rights to anyone when I posted.

 

jeremy:

 

From the license:

 

· Licensee may make only one (1) copy of the original Data for archival purposes unless the right to make additional copies is granted to Licensee in writing by GROUNDED.

 

I DL to my laptop, copy to my system at home for backups, copy to my desktop and install on my GPS. oops, license violation.

 

Also:

 

· Licensee may modify the Data and merge other data sets with the Data for Licensee's own internal use. The portions of the Data merged with other data sets will continue to be subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement.

 

Gee I guess when I backup my waypoints I'm also in violation. yet another copy.

 

· Licensee shall not sell, rent, lease, sublicense, lend, assign, time-share, or transfer, in whole or in part, or provide unlicensed third parties access to the Data, Related Materials, any updates, or Licensee's rights under this Agreement.

 

now I can't sync my waypoints with other if I have any that came from geocaching.com. Nice friendly viral license.

 

· Licensee shall not remove or obscure any GROUNDED and/or licensor(s) copyright, proprietary, or trademark notices. Redistribution Rights for Derived Digital Data Sets: At GROUNDED's sole option, GROUNDED may grant a separate sublicense agreement, on a royalty fee basis, with Licensees who wish to obtain redistribution rights for derived or other value-added digital data sets in GROUNDED-compatible data format(s). Please address your written proposals to Attn.: GROUNDED Data Manager, Grounded, Inc., 2111 3rd Avenue West, Seattle, WA, USA.

 

whoops! merely copying the waypoints onto my GPS is prohibited by this one as each waypoint does not include the copyright notice.

 

So In short, the license permits me to DL the data (well only one waypoint worth of data at a time, but that's another story) I can't even write a linux script to copy it to my GPS without violating some license clauses.

 

The very useful mapping site was removed from the links page. This is a great disservice to me and I expect many in the geocaching community feel the same. I'm looking for folks that are willing and eager to cooporate with others in improving the interface to the data. I am NOT expecting them to be spending efforts removing information and making legal threats against those who do make improvements.

 

Or in other words the license forbid me or anyone else from doing anything useful with the data. It's only a matter of time before an open geocaching site takes over as freecddb took over from cddb.com in the CD space.

 

I will move there willingly. I'll even help develop the site if anyone want's my help.

 

I'd much prefer that the License and attitude be fixed and we continue with the good work geocaching.com has done.

 

[This message has been edited by TimRiker (edited 02 July 2001).]

 

[This message has been edited by TimRiker (edited 02 July 2001).]

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Guest jeremy

quote:
Originally posted by TimRiker:

I do not recall agreeing to any license before I posted. There is no license that shows up anywhere in the signup procedure that generates an email, and I do not recall ever giving excusive rights to anyone when I posted.


 

Man I hate it when people quote and pick. Quote and pick. Why don't I fast forward this thread a bit.

 

Obviously you're trolling for an argument. I'm not going to give you one. You apparently can read and form an opinion. I've read your opinion and disagree with your conclusions.

 

We agree to disagree. If you don't like it, remove your logs from the site.

 

You haven't hidden any caches, so you're halfway there.

 

Jeremy

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Guest TimRiker

Jeremy,

 

I'm not looking for an argument. I'm sorry to come across that way.

 

I think is it reasonable for you as the site administrator to require some sort of license on the downloaded data.

 

You will notice that I did not "quote and pick" to start this thread but merely pointed out the issues I do not agree with.

 

You then asked me "What do you want to do with the data that the site forbids you to do?". I expected that you wanted an answer to this question, so I provided one.

 

I would appreciate a more detailed reply from you as to the reasons for the restrictions in the license.

 

I consider it unfortunate that you have not been more eager to include work others have done into the site. This is entirely up to you though. So I did not and will not try to force you to change your opinion.

 

I will restate my concern:

 

The license prohibits useful redistribution.

 

A license it a Good Thing. IANAL, and YANAL but I have had legal experience with this type of data redistribution license and I believe the license as it now stands is overly restrictive to the point of being detrimental to the sport. I do not believe this is your intention. I am hoping that you will take this concern as contructive and make some compromises.

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Guest ClayJar

What is the geocaching.com license for? It's to protect geocaching.com from the mean, old lawyers. (Note, lawyers, that I am not implying that all lawyers are mean, nor am I implying that all lawyers are old; I am merely noting that there exist lawyers who are both old and mean who would do things just for the money.)

 

You see, if Bob's Big Fat Open Spaces, Inc., owns lower Montana, and Bubba here goes and places a cache there, Geocaching.com is going to get fan mail from the aforementioned mean, old lawyers. They're going to tell him to pull that cache. Geocaching.com must have the rights to the data to do what they need to (pull the cache) without getting permission from the planter, Q.E.D.

 

The fact that Geocaching.com does not let Evil S. Aden to just suck all the data, et al out of the site and set up his own (using no effort, producing no good) is for the most part a Good Thing. Unfortunately, because of the aforementioned bad, old lawyers, you can't just say "Don't steal all the data and stuff and make a blatant clone site." You have to have a lawyer's help to write a license which will stand up to Mr. Aden's bad, old lawyer's case in court.

 

If the world were totally benevolent, I'm sure there would be no license terms, but because there are evil people who get helped by bad, old lawyers, there has to be a license. Unfortunately, some people haven't come to realize that 99% of any open license is there simply in an attempt to stave off the bad, old lawyers (who could care less about anything but money). I'm just glad there are some good lawyers who can help keep the bad, old lawyers at bay... for now.

 

Did I come close on this?

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Guest TimRiker

Clayjar:

 

I agree for the most part with what you wrote. As I noted before I do think that a license is a Good Thing. I hope you and others believe that.

 

I do not think that the restictive aspects of the license are required at all to disindemnify GROUNDED from any liability. As has been proved in court time and again, the extent of liability for the body operating a server that serves data for a public forum is the requirement to remove any data a party with legal rights to ask requests.

 

Wow, did that make sense?

 

Basically they are NOT liable for data copied off the site. And it's even debatable whether they are liable for data they continue to publish. It's just easier to remove the requested data and be done with that aspect.

 

In fact. from a legal liability standpoint claiming copyright on the published data increases the legal liability. Entity foo can republish the data, and let GROUNDED be a front to any legal action. The only thing foo would liable for is a copyright violation.

 

So from your example: Bob's Big Fat Open Spaces, Inc. can't sue foo, but CAN sue GROUNDED even after GROUNDED removes the data from geocaching.com. A nice legal position for foo to be in. ;-(

 

Now I would like to see a license that allows Evil S. Aden and anyone else that wishes to grab and republish the data but makes it clear that any legal action taken against them cannot be redirected to GROUNDED.

 

So, while I believe that Jeremy and GROUNDED have the right intentions (except for not allowing republication) I do not believe that the license has helped the indemnification, but rather hurt it.

 

As Jeremy and I do not agree on the republishing issue and he does not seem to be willing to discuss it, I guess I will look for others that do share that belief and assist there.

 

I am interested in discussing any issues related to this, but I am not interested in participating in a flame war. If you disagree with me, fine. You have that right. If you would be interested in working towards a better solution for those involved, then talk on! ;-)

 

[This message has been edited by TimRiker (edited 02 July 2001).]

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Guest ClayJar

Better idea. Let's borrow a page from industry executives and "repurpose" this thread. How about lawyer jokes?

 

quote:

How many lawyer jokes are there?

One. The rest are true stories.


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Guest Eoghan

laining about the way things are run here, I'm still very impressed with the site and your level-headedness, it's just that you really need to have that information easily accessible from those pages so there's no question about the terms. It'd also help your position if right beneath the "send cache report" button you had an 8pt line of text that said something like "Submitting a cache report indicates your agreement with our terms of service".

You could kill 95% of the controversy and make most everyone happier if you did this. If there is a reason you don't want to do this could you please let me know (either private email or the forum). Thanks.

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Guest jeremy

I was planning to do this... It's just one item that kept being dropped lower on my "todo" list. I'm taking off a day this week to catch up on geocaching stuff. I'll add that functionality then.

 

Jeremy

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Guest PneumaticDeath

quote:
Originally posted by jeremy:

We agree to disagree. If you don't like it, remove your logs from the site.

 

....

 

Jeremy


 

I've been hoping this won't turn into a "love it or leave it" argument. I understand you're frustrated with this, but there are some important underlying issues here.

 

But lets put these questions to the front: Why does the license need to be so restrictive? What are you trying to prevent? What is the problem you see with the kind of reusage on Buxley's map page.

 

It looks like a lot of this license is a hodgepodge of boilerplate BBS license (the parts about owning postings) and boilerplate Software license (backup copies, etc.), but some of it doesn't make sense in this context. Why so opposed to changing it?

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Guest c_oflynn

I think that the licensee is good, and needed. It seems really just to cover him. If in a licensee you don't spell everything out exactly, then the old mean lawyer (see other posts) could sue him. It dosn't seem like Jeremy is really into enforcing it too much, just its "there". For instance, from the Yahoo! mail agreement some stuff

quote:

You agree to not use the Service to:

...

m. collect or store personal data about other users.


Hmm, address book? They aren't going to do anything if you do, but that is just to cover themselves.

 

And from another one (not yahoo)

quote:
You agree to indemnify, hold harmless, and defend Alchemy Mindworks and its suppliers from and against any claims or lawsuits, including attorney's fees, that arise or result from the failure of the aforementioned material to be successfully transmitted to you by electronic media.
Another one from the site

 

quote:
Unless we're required by law to do so, we will not knowingly disclose your e-mail address or any other personal information you provide to us to any third party, even if the party in question claims to be God and can produce three pieces of photo-ID to prove it.

 

I'm sure everyone would be much happier if no one had to have these things, but as long as people are going to sue, these exsist.

 

-Colin

 

 

[This message has been edited by c_oflynn (edited 03 July 2001).]

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Guest Hawk-eye

I wouldn't want to see us become censored ... even the feeble minded among us ... but it's probably time to tie a knot in this string ... end it .... deep six it ... nuke it.

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Guest jeremy

You know everytime you post to the thread it brings it back to the top.

 

D'oh! I just did it too.

 

Seems that the topic has run its course. I'm closing it.

 

In the future, if you have valid concerns, try posting a message with a less accusatory subject line. Everything is not a "conspiracy." Or better yet, email me directly.

 

Jeremy

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