> [ . . . ] 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.