[okfn-discuss] FreeTable: a public commons for open data

Peter Murray-Rust pm286 at cam.ac.uk
Tue Sep 6 11:18:10 UTC 2011

On Mon, Sep 5, 2011 at 9:32 PM, Gordon Irlam <gordonipub2 at gordoni.com>wrote:

> Hi,
> Peter Murray-Rust:
> >
> > * what is the governance model of FreeTable?
> Right now it is just me.  I know this needs to be improved upon.  It
> isn't clear a non-profit structure would work since what FreeTable
> seeks to do doesn't seem to be one of the exempt purposes under the US
> non-profit act.  Another reason for wanting a more substantive form is
> the DMCA act safe harbor provisions don't appear available to
> individuals, so some for of non-profit or for profit form is needed.
> If there is anyone out there that might be interested in devoting a
> significant amoount of time to data gathering, operations, or the
> development of FreeTable, and would enjoy being on the board drop me a
> line.
> It is critical that initiatives like this make clear what the governance
is. It's not easy. However I have seen so many well-intentioned orgs become
closed when the revenue was the decider

> > * Is there anything to prevent it being closed in the future?
> Good point.  Would a commitment not to close it down without two years
> notice work?
> This is a difficuolt point in general. There should be a mechanism to dump
all the Open Data. In which case, like Open Source, it can be forked

> > * it has a charging model. How is this reconciled with Free?
> The charging model applies to high volume users, and is necessary
> because the operating costs are currently $500/month, and could
> easily exceed $2,000/month once the system is scaled up and additional
> fault tolerance built in.
> The Free in FreeTable refers to freedom.  All the data in it is
> available under a Open Knowledge Definition compliant license.  And
> the FreeTable software itself is available under the GNU Affero GPL.
> This is again a general problem. F/OSS software, fine. Open Data has
problems of scale. It may need income. Open Services are even harder

> > * Are they any example data in FreeTable. Without this I have no idea of
> how to use it.
> --
> Peter Murray-Rust
> Reader in Molecular Informatics
> Unilever Centre, Dep. Of Chemistry
> University of Cambridge
> CB2 1EW, UK
> +44-1223-763069
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.okfn.org/pipermail/okfn-discuss/attachments/20110906/7fd0f6d6/attachment.html>

More information about the okfn-discuss mailing list