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

John Mark Ockerbloom ockerblo at pobox.upenn.edu
Fri Apr 2 13:31:42 UTC 2010

Rufus Pollock wrote:
> 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).

It might be helpful, then, if the ODbL made this clearer up front
in future revisions.   The statement

"[2.2.]c. Contract. This is an agreement between You and the Licensor 
for access to the Database. In return you agree to certain conditions of 
use on this access as outlined in this License."

appears fairly early in the license, and it in itself does
does not appear to be consistent with your statement, as it's
understood in US law.  In particular, simple access to a database
does not normally infringe copyright law in the US.

It looks like section 6 (and 10.4) later walk this back to acknowledging
atandard copyright-law user rights without any restrictions.  But it's
complex enough that I as a non-lawyer can't easily be *positive* it
walks the contract-even-without-infringement implication
of 2.2.c all the way back.  (The folks at Science Commons seem
to doubt this as well, based on their comments at
but I can't tell if their comments reflect an earlier draft, or whether
you and they have come to an understanding since.)


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