[okfn-discuss] Open Data Commons Database licence (draft) now out

Jordan Hatcher's lists lists at twitchgamer.net
Thu Sep 27 15:53:06 UTC 2007

On 27 Sep 2007, at 13:15, Rufus Pollock wrote:

>  This isn't a 'formal ruling' since we just go on (rough) consensus  
> here but if no-one else speaks up with an objection I think you  
> could take it as such :)

Thanks for going through the licence and the definition -- definitely  

I'll respond tomorrow with more detail, but I do have a few immediate  
comments inline.

> Beyond the basic 'openness' issue I do have a few comments/questions:
> 1. Share-alike provision and compatible licenses.
> In s4.4 on Share-alike you have option (iii) A compatible license  
> deleted. In your annotation you explain that this could be re-added  
> and also why you have removed it. I am not sure I completely  
> understand this bit. Obviously this license waives all moral rights  
> (including attribution rights) in s5.1.
> But does this mean an attribution requirement be incompatible with  
> this license -- if so could one modify the license to ensure it was  
> not? Attribution is likely to be a big requirement for many groups  
> (such as academics) and it would be unfortunate if it were precluded.
> I also wonder whether CC's waiver will actually be incompatible. If  
> their approach is 'BSD-like' one would hope one could still join  
> that with a share-alike license like this which does not waive rights.

The bit about compatible licences is crossed out because not sure  
about approach.  CC, for instance, have this language and as the  
'keepers of the licences' maintain what is compatible and what  
isn't.  If whoever takes up the ODCDL as the maintainer wants to go  
this route, the language is there for them to do so. The FSF do  
similar work with the GPL.  I'd like to explore whether the CC  
licences would be compatible, but at the moment I think not as they  
don't licence DB rights nor do they try to cover extracting and re- 
utilising all of the contents into a new database, which I think is  
an important feature of the ODCDBL

As for attribution for academics, you could make a BY-SA version of  
the licence.

> 2. Mashups
> There is a specific section 4.5b which excludes mashups from the SA  
> provision:
> <quote>
> b. Using this Database or a Derivative Database to produce a  
> Substantial part of the Data (via a search or other query) that is  
> then combined with information from more than one source into an  
> integrated experience does not create a Derivative Database (out of  
> the integrated experience) for purposes of Section 4.4; and
> </quote>
> I do not think this makes this non OKD compliant but I do worry  
> that it could be used to an 'end-run' round the intent of the SA  
> provision. In particular it might allow people to in effect create  
> a derivative database but argue that it was only producing by  
> combining their data with the original database to make an  
> 'integrated experience'.

I addressed this a bit in a post:

I don't think that this would be too much of a problem.
> 3. Making available derivative works
> Similar to the previous point I also think one might want to make  
> explicit that one cannot restrict access to the data by providing  
> some form of limited interface (this might best go in s4.6). For  
> example someone might make a derivative DB but put it behind a  
> search form that only allowed people a limited query rate. Thus I  
> think it might be worthwhile to have something related to the  
> 'Access' provision (no 1) of the OKD which states:
> "The work shall be available as a whole and at no more than a  
> reasonable reproduction cost, preferably downloading via the  
> Internet without charge. The work must also be available in a  
> convenient and modifiable form."
> (obviously this can't apply to the work being licensed but it can  
> be used as part of the share-alike provision to affect the  
> behaviour of those making derivative works).
> ~rufus
I'll have to have a think about this one a bit more.



Mr. Jordan S Hatcher, JD, LLM

jordan at opencontentlawyer dot com
IP/IT Blog: http://twitchgamer.net

Usage of Creative Commons by cultural heritage organisations

"The Impact of Free Trade Agreements on Information Technology Based  

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