[geo-discuss] [Geodata] Re: Geodata in CKAN and collaboration (was Re: Responding to the consultation on opening Ordnance Survey's data)

Jo Walsh jo at frot.org
Tue Feb 9 03:28:16 UTC 2010

dear Steve, all,

On 09/02/2010 02:09, SteveC wrote:

>> Have you looked at the data license menu from CKAN.net - the
>> dropdown list at http://www.ckan.net/package/new

The list there does include non-commercial use options, both Creative 
Commons and Other flavours.

> I think this is the thing that Rufus waved around as the reason
> there wouldn't be a NC version of the ODbL. Which I have to super
> disagree with. You can push the rhetoric and religion so far on
> 'openness' but simply denying that NC should exist is like the CC0
> people denying that the ODbL 'should' exist.

Personally, I agree with you that some NC use, particularly for the 
public sector can be seen as part of a progression and used to bargain 
with. "Give us time... the supporting culture needs to adapt...".

It can be unclear whether a use is non-commercial - there is a growing 
grey area - and it can be expensive to test it. If I support my local 
history site with Google AdWords, is that commercial use?

The cost of commercial licensing of data may outweigh the benefit, even 
economically. Links to and re-use of data may have serious future value 
for preservation, outweighing short-term gains.

There will be redistribution of data that quickly loses attachment to 
the non-commercial license terms, once it is used in a combined work.

> Frankly, I think if the ODC / OKFN / CKAN or whatever acronym storm
> it is that publishes the ODbL is unable to recognise that then it's
> inevitable that someone else will. We're at the point in time where
> there's a lot of data coming out, and just doing a dance and
> incanting the Public Domain mantra won't fly. The ODbL gets us quite
> a way there, but it needs to look like this:
> http://creativecommons.org/choose/

OKFN is a name for the Open Knowledge Foundation Network. That is a 
collection of projects dealing with open data, grouped together with 
shared infrastructure and overlap between groups - modelled on the ASF, 
like OSGeo is. http://okfn.org/projects/

Open Data Commons with its license set is one of those projects:

CKAN is another project, some free software and an installation of it on 
the web ( also within http://data.gov.uk/ ): http://ckan.net/

Meanwhile, I hadn't realised the background religious war had reached 
another of those flamy angst peaks. Sorry!

> So given all the religion floating around, the basic question to me
> is: Is the ODbL forkable? Because if it is, then we can build an
> organisation which can build the above. Unless, of course, ODC /
> OKFN / CKAN changes it's position on whether we're allowed to use
> condoms or not. And if it does, I'll wholeheartedly support it. But
> right now, with all due respect to everything Rufus has done, I'm
> very wary of the intersection of what a data publisher wants to do
> and what Rufus thinks you should be able to do.

Well, I don't see the harm, in the abstract, of providing a draft 
Non-Commercial Use ODbL-modelled license if there is a constituency out 
there really requiring it. (Though will this help fix the problem of 
conflating differently-licensed overlapping data sets?)

Whether that is a full-fledged "Open Data Commons" license is ultimately 
up to Jordan Hatcher, I guess. If you have someone who can put time into 
putting a draft, that would really help sort it out.

Good luck, and thanks for the great work you are doing with OSM,


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