No subject

Sun Dec 12 18:29:16 UTC 2010

The work shall be available as a whole and at no more than a reasonable reproduction cost, preferably downloading via the Internet without charge.

Mendeley has declined repeated requests to provide a complete database dump.

I also have problems with CC-BY for biblio data, especially when the BY is from a secondary 
indexer, not even the original publisher, and we are talking about public domain metadata 
in the first place.  What is the effect of the BY clause on biblio metadata?  I think almost 
nothing, because of the clause in CC-BY that the status of public  elements is in no way 
affected by the license.  Still, the BY clause has a chilling effect on the kind of 
"frictionless sharing" of biblio data which I think we should be promoting.
(Thanks to Facebook for this notion in another context.) 
In particular, I strongly dislike the display requirements

-- Any content obtained from Mendeley must include proper attribution as such. Mendeley brand elements should be placed within close proximity to the content, so that the users can easily understand the source. For those wishing to brand the content as their own, please contact trademarks at with the subject line "SELF BRANDING."

I do not think this community should encourage or condone this sort of commercialization of
biblio data. I would rather see promotion of ideas of provenance of biblio data, enforced by
open community norms, rather than legal attribution requirements. I would rather see us promote
non-commercial alternatives, and create bibliographic stores unencumbered with BY requirements,
but including provenenance assertions whenever possible.

If I pick up a bib record from Mendeley, and personally check that its data agrees with
whatever other data I may have from other sources, why should I  be legally obliged to 
credit Mendeley as the source. Or even am I obliged at all? If I have some repututation as 
a maintainer of high quality bibliographies, it is probably more important to further users of 
the data that that I have checked it than that I copied it from Mendeley.

I am not offering a solution to the provenance issue for biblio data. 
But I think CC-BY licenses are not the way to solve it.
And that this community should think about what alternative standards might be promoted.


Jim Pitman
Professor of Statistics and Mathematics
University of California
367 Evans Hall # 3860
Berkeley, CA 94720-3860

ph: 510-642-9970  fax: 510-642-7892
e-mail: pitman at

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