[od-discuss] "Datenlizenz Deutschland – Namensnennung – Version 1.0" compliance with Open Definition

Daniel Dietrich daniel.dietrich at okfn.org
Mon Mar 25 12:09:13 UTC 2013

Dear Mrs Groß, dear Mrs Dauke,

I am contacting you today, on behalf of the Open Definition Advisory Council [1], because of the compliance of the two new licenses for German PSI with the Open Definition [2].

The group agreed that the "Datenlizenz Deutschland – Namensnennung – Version 1.0" [3] aims to be a permissive attribution-only license; which would potentially make the license a open license in compliance with the OD. However we have concerns about the actual wording of the license text: 

Changes, editing, new designs or other amendments shall be marked with information in the source note about relevant changes, or the source note must be deleted if the entity keeping the data requires so. 
</quote> [4]

We think the wording of this paragraph needs to be more clear and  explicit, as it is not clear to us what it exactly is aiming to say:

(1)  is it saying (a) that all the actual changes must be documented; or is it saying (b) that the attribution statement must be different if the  data is changed (for instance from “reproduces data from Ministry” to “modified from data from Ministry”)?  The original German refers to a  “Veränderungshinweis” which Google translates as a “Change Notice”, which could mean either a description of the changes or simply a notice  that changes had been made. Or 

(2)  is it saying (a) that the licensor can later at its discretion instruct the licensee to remove the attribution; or is it saying (b) that the  licensor can specify *in advance* that an attribution should *never* be given if the data is changed? 
None of these readings necessarily make the license non-comformant, but given their lack of clarity, it is also impossible to be certain that the intention is not of an onerous requirement which would be non-Open.

Additionally, note that reading 1(a) would be atypical of a permissive attribution-only license, and would likely harm interoperability with other such licenses (eg, CC-BY and ODC-BY).

We recommend both making conditions more clear and ensuring they are minimal.

The group furthermore agreed that the "Datenlizenz Deutschland – Namensnennung – nicht kommerziell – Version 1.0" [5] is not conform to the Open Definition because of it's non-commercial restrictions. 

While the explicit lack of restriction on non-commercial use is welcome, this also implies that commercial use is restricted or prohibited. The Open Definition requires that the data be freely usable for any purpose including commercial ones. We think this is an important issue since this affects the Open Data Ecosystem; the ability for commercial businesses to add value by building products and services using open data is key to building a sustainable open data ecosystem.

The Open Definition sets out principles to define ‘openness’ in relation to content and data and is widely recognized as the international standard to evaluate license compliance.

We would be pleased if we could discuss this issue and explore possibilities how we could help you make the "Datenlizenz Deutschland – Namensnennung – Version 1.0" compliant with the Open Definition. It would be great if we could have a call by phone or skype at any time soon.

Kind regards

Daniel Dietrich
on behalf of the Open Definition Advisory Council

1. http://opendefinition.org/advisory-council/
2. http://opendefinition.org/okd/deutsch/
3. https://github.com/fraunhoferfokus/ogd-metadata/blob/master/lizenzen/BMI/Datenlizenz_Deutschland_Namensnennung_V1.md und 
4. We have used this translation as basis for the discussion:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1i9na_ZRmEC-EkQBcvUvwUvevOaMA7pgUUNdgiFxf5B0/edit#
5. https://github.com/fraunhoferfokus/ogd-metadata/blob/master/lizenzen/BMI/Datenlizenz_Deutschland_Namensnennung_nichtkommerziell_V1.md

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