[od-discuss] City of Calgary Open Data License Approval Request

Simbirski, Walter Walter.Simbirski at calgary.ca
Mon Mar 18 19:22:04 UTC 2013

Good point. Thanks!

From: mlinksva at gmail.com [mailto:mlinksva at gmail.com] On Behalf Of Mike Linksvayer
Sent: 2013 March 18 11:09 AM
To: Andrew Stott
Cc: Simbirski, Walter; od-discuss at lists.okfn.org
Subject: Re: [od-discuss] City of Calgary Open Data License Approval Request

+1 to all Andrew says.

One broader comment: the document may be largely fine as a ToU for a website but that's out of scope for compliance with http://opendefinition.org/okd

Bundling ToU with data permissions may indirectly lead to some of the problems Andrew pointed out. One path forward would be to unbundle -- put whatever you need to in the ToU with respect to use of the site/service, but grant permission to use the data under a standard, already approved license.

On Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 9:06 AM, Andrew Stott <andrew.stott at dirdigeng.com<mailto:andrew.stott at dirdigeng.com>> wrote:

Thanks for posting to this list.

A prior question is why you consider that a special licence for the City of Calgary is necessary and why you consider that it is not possible to use an established open licence - such as Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 [1][2].  While the effect on people only using City of Calgary data may not be significant the combination of datasets from different jurisdictions become difficult if each jurisdiction uses its own licence.

On the detail of the text I had the following comments from the "open" point of view:

(1) "You will be fully responsible for any consequences resulting from any use of the Data" is unusual.  While it is acceptable and usual to limit the liability of the City from any use of the data, this clause seems to require that the user of the data cannot similarly limit their liability from downstream uses of the data by somebody else.  For instance, if the City releases a list of points of interest including ATMs, and a developer uses these to do a "Find My Nearest ATM" application, and someone uses the application to find an ATM where they are mugged it would seem that the developer is required to be liable to the victim. This may implicitly put a very severe limit on what can be done with the data, and that would not be Open.

(2)  "any lawful Use" is problematical in all sorts of ways - for instance which laws apply?  If someone uses the data in another jurisdiction in a way which is unlawful in Calgary, or in a way which is unlawful in their own jurisdiction but lawful in Calgary, are they entitled to use the licence?  Generally the best line is that breaking the law is against the law anyway, and leaving enforcement to the normal criminal law process on the substantive offence rather than trying to use licensing as law enforcement.  In any case, would such a provision really be effective: if someone is going to do something illegal how constrained would they really be by breach of licence?

(3)  there are two provisions which create uncertainty for the data user - the provision (para 1) that the user would be bound by later changes to the licence and the provision (para 3) that the City might retrospectively require the user to remove an attribution.  (The latter was an issue recently discussed here in the context of the proposed Datalizenz Deutschland [3]).  It would be better to say that a user who has downloaded the data may continue to use the data in perpetuity under the licence which applied at the time that he downloaded it.

(4) the Acceptance of Other Conditions clause is also problematical - the *requirement* to accept other conditions means that the licence as it stands could not be classed as Open.  If other licence conditions are really necessary for specific datasets then it would be best for these to be self-standing licences and to have a general, open and complete licence that applied to all the Open Data which the City of Calgary is making available.

[1] https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

[2] Note that CC-BY 3.0 actually allows the licensor to make the attribution optional, if that is what you want.  It also has provisions about what to do if there would be a lengthy list of attributions in a "collection".

[3] http://lists.okfn.org/pipermail/od-discuss/2013-March/000344.html


Andrew Stott

From: od-discuss-bounces at lists.okfn.org<mailto:od-discuss-bounces at lists.okfn.org> [mailto:od-discuss-bounces at lists.okfn.org<mailto:od-discuss-bounces at lists.okfn.org>] On Behalf Of Simbirski, Walter
Sent: 18 March 2013 14:51
To: 'od-discuss at lists.okfn.org<mailto:od-discuss at lists.okfn.org>'
Subject: [od-discuss] City of Calgary Open Data License Approval Request

The Open Data License for the City of Calgary can be found here:


We would like to have the license reviewed for conformance as an open data license.

We believe it is similar to the Creative Commons Attribution License with the following differences:

-          We do not require attribution although users are encouraged to give attributions. Our thoughts are that in the case of compilations of data the attribution list can become quite lengthy and the amount of data actually used from a data set could be quite small; therefore, we have given the user the option to include or exclude attribution.

-          We ask users not to use data from City of Calgary for illegal purposes. While we cannot strictly enforce such a clause this puts the onus on the user of data to ensure that the use of data conforms to regional laws.

Thank you

Walter Simbirski
Intellectual Property Analyst, Access Solutions
Infrastructure & Information Services
The City of Calgary | Mail Code: #8191
T: 403-268-2069<tel:403-268-2069> | F: 403-268-3638<tel:403-268-3638> www.calgary.ca<http://www.calgary.ca>
Floor 6 Calgary Municipal Building - B10-4
P.O. Box 2100, Station M, Calgary, AB Canada T2P 2M5

ISC: Protected

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