[odc-discuss] Open Government Licence interoperable with ODC - Attribution

MJ Ray mjr at phonecoop.coop
Wed Oct 6 19:15:25 UTC 2010

Jordan S Hatcher wrote:
> On 5 Oct 2010, at 00:11, MJ Ray wrote:
> > Well, maybe.  Does anyone know if the other groups agree?  The
> > restrictions on field of use in the OGL vex me, as they look
> > incompatible with FOSS and some share-alike terms.
> On fields of use/endeavour, which portions were you thinking about?

I'm thinking about two of the three "ensure..." statements.

It lacks the CC-style compatibility with express endorsement permission.
I'm in discussion with some people from the National Archives about
that omission and may post something here later.

> Some of the other restrictions are more the type you'd get from a
> separate trademark policy related to a FOSS project (I'd put the no
> endorsement language here), which don't defeat FOSS compatibility as
> effectively it relates to something that is not FOSS licensed (the
> code versus trademark distinction in FOSS).

Like many free software developers, I disagree with that.  Ultimately,
it doesn't matter if software is restricted by copyright, trademark or
a law called Betty, it would still mean it isn't free software.

There is a need for FOSS-friendly trademark licences, but I don't
remember seeing many.  One of the Java-related ones.  Not sure
about any others.

> Some restrictions, such as complying with the Data Protection Act
> and the e-privacy directive are the law anyway and would seem to
> restrict users regardless of whether the OGL reminded you of your
> obligations here.  Similarly, CC licenses don't license personality
> rights or give clearance to any applicable privacy rights.

With the CC licences, if personality or privacy rights restrict your
use, then that's the fault of laws about those rights and not the
fault of the CC licence saying you must obey specific laws, isn't it?

It is possible to screw up with those sort of innocent-looking "you
must obey the law" sections by making some people subject to laws which
wouldn't otherwise apply to them.  Does OGL make that mistake?

For example, if the England had a law that said you may not hang a bed
out of a windows (which some say we do), that still wouldn't make it
OK for a FOSS licence to prohibit use of the software to hang beds out
of windows.

I'm not sure about whether a foreigner actually breaches the DPA by
doing something abroad with foreign-made OGL'd data that would breach
the Data Protection Act if done here.  Do our laws apply if no-one has
a connection with our country?

MJ Ray (slef), member of www.software.coop, a for-more-than-profit co-op.
Webmaster, Debian Developer, Past Koha RM, statistician, former lecturer.
In My Opinion Only: see http://mjr.towers.org.uk/email.html
Available for hire for various work http://www.software.coop/products/

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