[open-bibliography] Fwd: [okfn-discuss] University of Ghent LibraryCatalogues: Open or Not?

Rufus Pollock rufus.pollock at okfn.org
Fri Apr 2 12:04:12 UTC 2010

On 26 March 2010 13:27, John Mark Ockerbloom <ockerblo at pobox.upenn.edu> wrote:
> Rufus Pollock wrote:
>> As I understand it, you are dealing with the licensing of what is in
>> essence bibliographic metadata. As such my main recommendation is that
>> you do pretty much what you were doing already :) That is you offer
>> users the three main "open" license choices for data:
>> Public Domain: PDDL or CCZero
>> Attribution: ODC-by - "http://www.opendatacommons.org/licenses/by/";
>> Attribution-Sharealike: ODbL -
>> "http://www.opendatacommons.org/licenses/odbl/";
> Do the latter two ODC licenses purport to impose contract terms that go
> further
> than copyright?  That's one problem I had with them as I understood them
> when
> they were announced; I really don't like the principle that any download
> or use of data binds me to requirements that copyright law itself does not.

My basic answer is: no, in standard usage, the ODC licenses do not
impose "contract terms" that go beyond copyright *plus* the relevant
data(base) specific IP rights in your jurisdiction (if these differ
from copyright).

This is turning into a bit of FUD thing so it is important to clear it
up! More on this in this recent blog post (see section that is
entitled Contract and the ODbL):


> I'm currently licensing my ~40,000 bibliographic records for free online
> books
> with CC-BY-SA.  I realize that the SA requirements could be removed where
> record data is reused under fair use and public domain provisions, and I'm
> fine
> with that.  (For instance, at least some of the bibliographic fields
> are very likely to be public domain by US standards.)  I wouldn't want to
> switch to a similar ODC license that tried to include contractual
> restrictions for uses that are currently permitted by our copyright law.

Nothing in the ODbL license in its standard usage will impose
restrictions beyond those in your basic copyright/database law.

> (Actually, I'm considering going to CC-0, which would simplify things
> further, but how to get approval for that in my organization isn't
> entirely clear.)

Right, you could also use CC-0 or the PDDL [1] to go for a complete
PD-only approach. All of these are good in my view and obviously a
PD-only approach imposes fewer restrictions on users/reusers.


[1]: http://www.opendatacommons.org/licenses/pddl/
Open Knowledge Foundation
Promoting Open Knowledge in a Digital Age
http://www.okfn.org/ - http://blog.okfn.org/

More information about the open-bibliography mailing list