Licence redaction ready to begin

Hello all,

I’m pleased to announce that the licence change bot is ready to get underway.

Starting this week, we will be ‘redacting’ the contributions (less than 1%) from the live database that are not compatible with the new Contributor Terms and Open Database Licence (ODbL) – in other words, they will no longer be accessible. We are expecting to begin on Wednesday (11th July) assuming a couple of final setup details are completed by then.

The bot will run in the following order:

  1. Ireland
  2. UK
  3. Western Europe
  4. North America
  5. Australia
  6. rest of the world

Once it is complete, we will be ready to distribute data under the ODbL and we’ll advise of that with a separate announcement. The final pre-redaction dataset available under CC-BY-SA has now been generated at . Where data has been redacted, any attempt to access it from the API or the site’s ‘browse’ pages will return a response to that effect.

Test runs have shown that the bot is functioning as we want it to, but we will of course be monitoring its progress. We are currently expecting it to take in the order of one month to complete; given the many variables I’m afraid we can’t give a more precise steer yet, but we’ll aim to keep everyone updated as it runs (via the announce@ and talk@ lists).

There will be no API outage and no other interruption to editing. When the bot is running in your area, please do save your edits frequently to minimise the likelihood of conflict.

(Separate messages are going to talk-ie@ and talk-gb@ as the first two areas to be affected. Please do forward and translate this for your local mailing lists.)

As you know we were expecting this to start just after 1st April and the complexity of the task incurred the delay. Thank you all very much for your patience in waiting for it to get underway. Thank you especially to those who have contributed to the code, whether by patches, suggestions or just helping to firm up the workings.

Posted to the mailing list by Richard for the OSMF board

This post is also available in: French Russian

26 thoughts on “Licence redaction ready to begin

  1. Pieren

    Will it be possible to track the bot activities ? Any logs of the removed data ? changeset’s ? Could we use a tool like e.g. ITO’s OSM Mapper to see the data deletion on a certain area ?

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  3. John

    Are Northern Ireland and the UK already finished? Since I now see the bot redacting France.

    1. HarryWood Post author

      Ireland is finished. The bot is currently processing the UK bounding box, starting in the South and heading northwards. That box area does include a little bit of France. I’ve made a new map display which shows what’s going on. In fact there were some failures in France, so these regions will need to be re-visited. More questions? rebuild mailing list

  4. Spindoctor

    Well Australia has been half wiped off the map. There are large chunks of the country missing, including huge swaths of Sydney. This will set OSM in Australia back years.

    1. Dan Mihai Ile

      Well Portugal data was also mixed up, a lot of unconnected major roads, lost a lot of points in the actual roads so now they just jump across mountains/lakes/buildings…

      For a moment I thought all data was vandalized, but oh well…

      1. Andrew

        Poland too. I wanted to create my ride track for today but unfortunately I’m unable to do that. *Everything* has gone :(((((

    2. Derick

      It’s a pity with some data have been redacted, but to me this sounds like an excellent opportunity to start a mapping culture that actually cares what the whole OpenStreetMap community wants!

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  8. Sorin Acela

    DO NOT be pleased! DO NOT! The licence change bot is a catastrophe, a disaster! A lot of hard work has been destroyed just because some “unlicensed” passing user changed a point. That point/line became “his” and has been deleted with all the work of other “licensed” contributors. Just one example for the stupidity of this concept is the town of Negrești (RO). There was a huge effort of putting all the Romanian localities on the map, with a lot of info (census etc). Just because someone made a little change in that info, all the info (so the point) is gone. For the silly makers of the silly bot it DID NOT matter that the info introduced by an unlicensed member was confirmed, reinforced by valid members. Another situation: If an unlicensed member interrupted a valid highway to mark a bridge, that way is now with that fragment missing. Hundreds of roads in RO are chopped in this way. The stupid bot didn’t even care to restore the continuous highways the way they were before the bridge insertion. Now the routing is incredibly stupid. Please try to have more RESPECT for the hard work and cancel the stupid bot until some intelligent analysts work on a reasonable algorithm.

      1. Sorin Acela

        More stupid outcome: if you try to repair a road’s continuity by re-adding the deleted bridge, you are in big trouble, because OSM threatens you that you ARE NOT ALLOWED to “restore” what the stupid bot deleted! If they deleted something like:

        bridge = yes
        highway = secondary

        … the actual situation will lead you to insert exactly the same data! The bridge didn’t move. Or shall slightly change the points’ coordinates so they don’t match the infamous deleted info?

        1. Richard Fairhurst

          Sorry you feel that way but to glibly, shoutingly deride plenty of smart people’s work as “stupid” and “silly” is evidently unfounded. The decisions taken while writing the bot have been extensively discussed in public – on the rebuild list, on the code repository, and IRC – and there were plenty of chances to get involved.

          The OSM community is responding magnificently to fixing the few areas that are seriously affected. I’m sure that if you were to raise an area that needs help then help would be forthcoming. Calmly and without SHOUTING 😉

          1. Sorin Acela

            In any community only about 5% is highly intelligent. Who are those who like destruction? See here above other bitter comments. Instead of being so cocky about your mess, why don’t you try to repair an obviously stupid action. I do shout with outrage towards some mind-dozers who gained some undeserved authority and have no respect for other people’s work. You killed roads, relations, transportation routes, rivers, POIs… Only for a stupid approach of some stupid license. Please stop the mockery and repair by changing the principles of the algorithm.

  9. Sorin Acela

    My 4-year long contributions are now destroyed by the stupid bot. My town and the surrounding area look now like after a bombardment. Street names that I collected with effort, one-way properties, POIs, buildings are a mess. That was very useful information for the emergency services in our area.

    And this twit Richard is gloating with pride. He is concerned with my justified shouting-ness instead of being terrified by the destructions his stupid bot have caused. I have already given some examples of imbecile outcome, which should be a reason to stop the destruction and try to revert the effects. I suppose now not even some massive revert is not possible, since many users have begun the repair and then there will be a lot of duplicate ways, points, polygons.

    One of the causes for this unbelievable mess lies deeper in the silly design of OSM HISTORY. One example of the rot:
    Member A (having agreed to the license) makes a way, a road between Paris and Geneva. That would be “version 1”.
    Member B (not having agreed to the license) decides for some reason to split the way at Dijon. Now the initial way has become 2 ways.
    Fragment A (Paris-Dijon) will be “version 2” of the initial way and will list contributors A and B, but fragment B (Dijon-Geneva) will be considered a new way (so “version 1”) and ALL the contribution of member A to this fragment will be not recognized any more!
    Then there comes the stupid bot and deletes fragment B, mocking the work of member A as well as any user of the map.
    This way millions of “legitimate” kms of ways have been destroyed. Converted maps have become useless.
    Members of OSM, please speak up! Shout!

    1. HarryWood Post author

      Please refer your complaints one of the community contact channels. I’d recommend the rebuild mailing list. Please also read the community code of conduct and be respectful. You’ve repeatedly called people stupid and used some other language which is really quite offensive, particularly when aimed at people who’ve been working so hard to find solutions.

      This is not really a suitable channel for any extensive discussion, or for you to raise your issues and objections, and certainly not for doing so in such an impolite manner.

      1. Sorin Acela

        Code of conduct? Respectful? Was this terrorist attack on the work of OSM contributors respectful? Wasn’t it really STUPID? This is not a cheap insult, but an accurate description of the terrorists’ action. Stupid and disrespectful. They worked hard to generate this self-vandalism?? You’d better try to understand the few examples I provided. Even they can give an idea about the destruction they produced. And there are people ready to clap they hands!

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