[odc-discuss] Future Open data project - help with licenses

Daniel Dietrich daniel.dietrich at okfn.org
Tue Nov 8 19:34:20 UTC 2011

Dear Guido,

I do understand you are looking for a "Share Alike" database license
so ODbL might be a good choice. I am not a lawyer so might not be able
to answer all your questions, but I am very much into the spirit of
the open definition[1] and I would love to discuss wich you: why
sharing using a Attribution license is such a "Horror" for you. The
German chapter[2] of the Open Knowledge Foundation is based in Berlin
and it would be great to have a chat on phone or over a Coffee. Feel
free to contact me any times.

If you need a german speaking legal expert on database rights I can
recommend Dr. Timo Ehmann.

Talk soon.

All the best

1. http://opendefinition.org/
2. http://okfn.de/

On 8 November 2011 18:19, Guido Richter <kontakt at wetterpool.de> wrote:
> Hello from Germany!
> I'm the head of www.wetterpool.de - a free weather data project for germany
> and europe. We want to be the first project with free data (hundreds of
> private weather stations). Therefore we need some special help with
> licenses. As an active mapper on OSM I came across ODbL and other licenses
> but we are unsure which one to use or if it could be necessary to use a
> bundle of licenses.
> So mainly I want to ask if someone can help us with licenses and judicial
> subjects.
> Our problems and facts are the following:
> - we have a database with hundreds of weather stations sending us free data
> (currently without a certain license)
> - most contributors would agree introducing a license like ODbL
> - our data could be free but we need a license that saves the data from
> commercial use without "feedback" for the community and contributors
> - ODbL produces a lot of questions. Some of them already have been answered
> by ourselves, but others are difficult to answer clearly.
> So at the end we need a license which grants free data, but protects them
> from misusage. Data should be free for all, but copys, reductions or
> improvements of data must become public again - always and without any
> exceptions. We want to give our data away to support science and so on but
> we want to avoid governmental or private weather services from takeing our
> data and producing commercial products which can not be used by the
> community. So eventually we want something like "take our data, as long as
> everybody can take your derived data or products using this data".
> In our opinion ODbL is not clear enough. As we understood, data is free, as
> long as a user of that data offers a way to download his "database". But
> what happens with created products and commercial improvements? Many of our
> users are afraid of products or databases which must not be shared with the
> community. There are some more examples of kinda fiddly circumstances:
> - An unimportant user takes our database, changes it and creates a small app
> at his homepage. He asks himself how to provide the new database with low
> server ressources, but a lot of people downloading his data
> - A commercial service takes our data without change. Are they allowed to
> sell it without sharing? That would be horrible for our project!
> - A commercial service takes out data and changes it. They produce a
> derivated map. We would prefer to make him provide his new database. If he
> uses 2 databases and creates the map "on the fly" we want, that this data
> has to be published too.
> - What happens, if someone does not use a database? He just downloads the
> data and displays it somewhere. No database used. Horrible too!
> If you aks me ODbL is great because it covers international aspects and so
> on but we are not sure about using it for our project aims and our prefered
> restrictions on data usage.
> Can you help us? We really need help to realize that project. It's also
> planned to use OSM maps in the future to provide a worldwide map with our
> data.
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> odc-discuss at lists.okfn.org
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Daniel Dietrich

The Open Knowledge Foundation
Promoting Open Knowledge in a Digital Age
www.okfn.org - www.opendefinition.org

+49 171 780 870 3

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