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

Benjamin Ooghe-Tabanou b.ooghe at gmail.com
Tue Nov 8 20:38:07 UTC 2011

Dear Guido,

Coming from France where ODbL is being adopted by more and more users
and collectivites, it is a big debate with pros and cons as well as
for softwares, but I don't believe there are any issues for you
releasing the data in ODbL. As I understand it, both commercial
examples you're presenting have to reshare all the data if they
provide a service with it, but i'm no jurist either...
Also I'm not sure at which point they are eyet, but I understand OSM
is shifting progressively to ODbL so no worries in this matter.

Benjamin Ooghe-Tabanou from Regards Citoyens

On Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 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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