[odc-discuss] Questions about ODC licenses and web site

Lucy Chambers lucy.chambers at okfn.org
Mon Jul 4 15:55:53 UTC 2011

Hi Peter,

Cc'ing the Open Data Commons discuss list for clarification on the
points you have raised.

We will be in touch soon,


On Mon, Jul 4, 2011 at 4:52 PM, Peter B. Hirtle <pbh6 at cornell.edu> wrote:
> Sirs:
> I am very much encouraging our data projects at Cornell to use ODC licenses,
> but people have been deeply confused by your web pages, particularly the web
> page relating to the ODC-BY license.  I hope that you can help with these
> questions.
> 1.       On http://www.opendatacommons.org/licenses/, you indicate that
> ODC-BY is “Attribution for data/databases.”  In the text of the license
> itself, however, you specify that ODC-BY does not apply to data, but only to
> databases: “…this license only governs the rights over the Database, and not
> the contents of the Database individually.”  Is ODC-BY only for databases?
> If so, why are you calling it “data/databases”?
> 2.       If it is only for databases, as the legal code seems to suggest,
> what license should be used to license content with only an attribution
> requirement?
> 3.       On http://www.opendatacommons.org/licenses/by/, under “How to
> apply,” you give language that refers only to databases, and not data
> content  (see question 1 above).  This is in contrast to the ODbL license
> http://www.opendatacommons.org/licenses/odbl/), which has one sentence that
> refers to the database, and a second sentence that refers to the database
> content.  Why no second sentence for content in the ODC-BY license –
> especially since Footnote 2 on the ODC-BY page refers to replacing the
> (non-existent) second sentence?
> 4.       The ODC-ODbL license refers to the Database Contents License:
> http://opendatacommons.org/licenses/dbcl/1.0/, for data.  This is not listed
> as a license under your list of licenses.  Are there other database commons
> licenses (such as an attribution license for database contents)?
> Peter B. Hirtle
> Senior Policy Advisor and Fellow, Society of American Archivists
> Digital Scholarship Services
> Cornell University Library
> 2B53 Kroch Library
> Ithaca, NY  14853
> peter.hirtle at cornell.edu
> t.  607.255-4033
> f.  607.255-9524
> http://vivo.cornell.edu/individual/vivo/individual23436
> Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for Digitization for U.S.
> Libraries, Archives, and Museums:
> http://hdl.handle.net/1813/14142

Lucy Chambers
Community Coordinator
Open Knowledge Foundation
Skype: lucyfediachambers

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