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

Richard Weait richard at weait.com
Fri Jul 8 01:41:45 UTC 2011

On Thu, Jul 7, 2011 at 4:42 PM, Peter B. Hirtle <pbh6 at cornell.edu> wrote:
> Rufus, the content found in the database is on a particular lake, and consist of biological and chemical parameters (counts of zooplankton, phytoplankton, fish, other organisms, chemical analyses of water, etc.).  It takes effort to collect this content, and the faculty member who generates it wants attribution.
> We know that the there is no copyright in the content: it is all factual.  And we know that the ODC-BY license won't work, since it is explicit that its terms do not apply to the contents of the database, but only to the database itself.

Let's address this part of your email.  I think that you will find it

You can use different licenses for the database as a whole, and for
individual contents.  Doing so makes more sense for some types of
databases than for others.  A database of songs might be licensed
ODC-BY while each of the contents, the individual songs would have
different terms.  So you might have songs with expired copyright,
songs still copyright and songs with CC licenses, all in the database.
 A user could search for songs in a certain key and time signature
"I'll take 3/4 time in B-flat Major, please" and the app would return
a list of songs including running time, or whatever.  All of that
would rightly be a product of the database, and be licensed ODC-BY.

Now if you ask the database to return the sheet music and a recording
for each song, the sheet music might have a publication copyright, and
the recording might have a different copyright, and you'd have to
abide by those if you wanted to create a CD, MP3 or perform a live

Perhaps what your scientist with a longing for the spotlight would
accept, is ODC-BY database, with ODC-PDDL contents.  ODC-PDDL
acknowledges that the contents are factual and don't gain copyright,
but that the use of a substantial portion of the facts from the
database require attribution of the database itself.

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