[odc-discuss] input/output Licensing
Jordan S Hatcher
jordan at opencontentlawyer.com
Sun Nov 8 17:15:16 UTC 2009
On 6 Nov 2009, at 15:19, Marco Milanesi wrote:
>> As I understood Marco, it is not *his* data - he has written a
>> and now he wants to make sure that if a third party uses his program,
>> this causes the third party to have to license *their* data in a
> exactly Frederik, we are speculating on this option from a 'cover all
> licensing point of view' for ALL the people that use the software
The background, and why Marco I took your email the way I did, is that
Roberta had emailed me privately about data licensing from the
perspective of only looking at the database. Frederik - thanks for
seeing it the other way and pointing it out!
I think that there is some confusion between:
-- the desire to cover all the bases from a licensing point of view
-- what the bases are to cover.
Tying the licensing of software and the stuff dealt with by that
software together is not generally how you do that, and as Frederik
and Clark mention, isn't how the GPL covers this situation (and most
if not all free/open licenses, or even lots of commercial licenses).
So if you produce both software and databases/data, what needs to be
-- stuff that you produce (database, data, images, text etc). I
usually say database/contents instead of data because too many people
assume data only means factual information, when a database can be of
How you do that with open licenses would be:
-- Software (GPL, LGPL, MIT, BSD, etc)
----- Database/Contents (ODbL/ DbCL or PDDL or CC0)
----- Images, text, other content (Creative Commons open licenses,
which are CC-BY and CC-BY-SA)
You need two (or more) licenses to do all the work required.
Sounds like you already made the first step for software, and now have
other stuff that you happen to use with this software that you want to
release to the public and need to find a license to make that choice
clear to your users.
So for this stuff (database/contents images text etc), you can either
go public domain (PDDL or CC0), copyleft for the database (ODbL), and
one single license or many licenses for the contents of those databases.
Making THIS choice is different than the software choice in terms of
how it fits into an organisation's goals as your database/contents has
a different relationship to what you do as an org. So if, for
example, you were trying to establish a global standard and wanted to
be totally and completely transparent about the data you use for that
standard, you *may* want to consider a public domain approach for the
data, but GPL for your software tools. If you were say, a
collaborative online mapping site, a copyleft database approach may
fit your model better :-) This all depends on you and your goals.
HTH and YMMV
Mr. Jordan S Hatcher, JD, LLM
More at: <http://www.jordanhatcher.com>
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