From:
"Neil R. Ormos" <ormos@enteract.com>
Sent: 3/20/2002 11:45:26 AM
To:
gpsstash@yahoogroups.com
Cc:
Bcc:
Subject:

Re: [gpsstash] "the Data" & "Geocaching"


On Tue, 19 Mar 2002, Eoghan wrote:

> [ . . . ] My point is that there are more things in their
> database than just coordinate data, and that people submit
> to geocaching.com with a broad range of expectations about
> the use of the data. Though most submitters probably don't
> even consider the issue, some feel strongly one way or the
> other. It's not entirely reasonable to claim "the data
> for the people" when not everyone wants their data made
> public in the way that some people here are
> demanding. What Groundspeak really needs IS a terms of
> service page which clearly states the terms on which cache
> data is submitted, provided, or released. I personally
> don't want all of "my data" mined and made public without
> my consent. I want to have control over my cache
> descriptions. I want to be able to change coordinates,
> remove or add photos, copy, etc. at my discretion.

You currently have no guarantee that you can control "your
own" cache data on geocaching.com. The operator of the site
could change the rules or the interface at any time, and
that decision could be forced (e.g., as a result of
regulatory action or in the case of a bankruptcy
proceeding). Even if there were published "Terms of
Service", suppose geocaching.com behaved in a manner
inconsistent with the "Terms". Who would care enough to
spend real money (i.e., tens of thousands of dollers, at
least) vindicating his ownership interests in his cache
data?

Moreover, the mere disclosure of "Terms of Service" does not
make those "Terms" reasonable or prudent for users. Even if
it's set up as a "click-wrap" agreement, most people click
on that stuff without reading it or considering the terms.

> If there were a viable open source project going I would
> submit _some_ caches to it, but not _every_ cache.

For what reasons would you withold some caches from an
open-source database project? If the open-source database
project gave you the same authority and access to modify
your own data, would that change your position?

> [ . . . ] How could he/they possibly prevent multi
> posting?

Well, for example, they would announce a prohibition on
multi-posting in their "Terms of Service", and then enforce
it by deleting any detected multi-posted caches from their
database, or deleting all caches owned by a user whom they
detect is multi-posting.

> [ . . . ] There are enough people involved that
> geocaching.com could never have a complete hold on the
> sport. If they folded tomorrow, I'm sure that
> navicache.com would be flooded with submissions in no
> time. The geocaches would still exist, the geocachers
> would still exist, and geocaching would still exist, even
> if geocaching.com didn't.

That assumes people have records of the caches they place,
instead of using geocaching.com as their recordkeeper.