[odc-discuss] Database Contents Licence (formerly the FIL)

Jordan S Hatcher jordan at opencontentlawyer.com
Thu Apr 30 17:43:23 UTC 2009

On 30 Apr 2009, at 17:45, Jonathan Rochkind wrote:

> That helps, thanks Jordan.
> Can you ODbL the database, even if some of the data in the database  
> may have third-parties with rights to it in various jurisdictions?

You can't give away rights (PDDL) or license rights (ODbL) for stuff  
you don't own.

Just like in FOSS and software, I can't copy proprietary code from  
Microsoft Internet Explorer and pop it into Firefox.  I don't own it.   
I can write my own code and license it under the MPL. But I can't copy  
someone else's as it's not mine.

The ODbL is agnostic as to the Contents (defined in the ODbL) of the  
Database. The Contents can be heterogenous (text from Wikipedia with  
GFDL + CC-BY-SA images + Public domain text, for example) or  
homogenous (all with the same rights).  If the Contents are homogenous  
and you own the rights to it, then you can apply the DbCL to the  


> I think "early adopters" of this suite of stuff for library  
> bibliographic data may currently not be using them correctly.  
> Guidance is desperately needed.
> Jonathan
> Jordan S Hatcher wrote:
>> On 30 Apr 2009, at 16:19, Anders Söderbäck wrote:
>>> Anyway, when licensing library data, I guess you could use both  
>>> the  ODbL and the DbCL together, just to be safe.
>> I'll try to address your other points when I can, but this one I   
>> wanted to clarify immediately.
>> The DbCL is meant to be used only with the ODbL.
>> The ODbL will cover the Database.  The DbCL will cover the contents  
>> of  that database.
>> It's the difference between a text field name (licensed under the  
>> ODbL  as part of the database) and the text in the field (licensed  
>> under the  DbCL).
>> ~Jordan
>> ____
>> Mr. Jordan S Hatcher, JD, LLM
>> jordan [at] opencontentlawyer dot com
>> More details at:
>> <http://www.jordanhatcher.com>
>> Open Data at:
>> <http://www.opendatacommons.org>
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Mr. Jordan S Hatcher, JD, LLM

jordan [at] opencontentlawyer dot com

More details at:

Open Data at:

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