[okfn-labs] Combining and republishing datasets with different licenses

Tom Morris tfmorris at gmail.com
Sun Sep 1 18:17:07 UTC 2013

On Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 7:00 AM, Julius Chrobak <julius at mingle.io> wrote:

> I'd like to ask you a question of how to resolve the issue of combining
> and republishing datasets with different licenses.
> For example, I'd like to join data from GeoNames and OpenStreetMap.
> GeoNames is available under CC BY 3.0 and OpenStreetMap under ODbL. What
> happens if I join these two datasets and  get a response where some
> attributes come from one source and some from the other, and some
> attributes are calculated? How should the derived data be licensed?
> [...]
> Any thoughts on this? Has anyone looked into this issue already?

 If you're asking for a business, you really should ask a lawyer, but
here's my *opinion*.

You have a choice between using a license which meets all (ie the union) of
the requirements for the original licenses or tagging different subsets of
the data with different licenses and passing that complexity to the
downstream consumers.  If the upstream licenses have conflicting
requirements, you're stuck.

Independent of the licensing, it's useful to know what data came from where
for the purposes of provenance and attribution.

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