[open-government] Share-alike

Javier Ruiz javier at openrightsgroup.org
Mon Sep 19 12:33:37 BST 2011


there is a perennial tension between maintaining any commons (data included)
and enclosure. Your FAQ glosses over a fundamental issue for the future of
the Net by presenting it as a matter of personal preference between
anti-commercialism or simply wanting to give a gift.

Your are right to point at the exchange contributed value for computing and
storage resources, but this is the same model used by Facebook, wand FB gets
a lot more in the bargain. There are many people looking at true
sustainability and just governance of systems based on peer produced value:


Although SA clauses are problematic for data, this is similar to the
GPL/Apache debates in software, where it's clear that it goes both ways and
the debate is not closed: there are some entrepreneurs that suffer as they
cannot reach some markets because of viral licenses, AND there is lock-in by
companies of the contributed value of people.

In the creative industries people are struggling with similar issues of
sustainability and how different licenses affect business models for
derivative works


but there, the focus is how can artists both share their work and survive
the Net that takes everything and doesn't want to pay. The same question
form the perspective of the Media Industry is how to control the flows via
DRM and repressive laws (DEA, HADOPI...).

With Open Government Data the question is how can Governments keep producing
free high quality data, and avoid having to spend a fortune buying data
services back from private companies, while at the same time encouraging
innovation and entrepreneurship. The UK is facing -- and ducking -- this
very issue right now with the Public Data Corporation.

Unless we start talking less about licensing and more about things like
corporate taxes, fiscal fairness and societal benefits, we are just
postulating a common interest between citizens, business and the state,
instead if actually constructing it.


Please don't take this personally. In a way, what is truly viral in the open
data networks is the spread of memes about licensing!


On 17 September 2011 11:10, Brendan Morley <morb at beagle.com.au> wrote:

> Stef,
> I feel limited in my reply because I'm not clear what your "criteria for
> success" are here.  I expect they are different to mine.
>  i beg to disagree you can in fact be an innovator and honor the SA.
> Agreed, you *can* be an innovator under SA.  But not insisting on SA is a
> greater incentive for innovators / entrepreneurs.
> With SA, innovations tend to only happen as a result of people scratching
> their own itches.
> Without SA, innovations also tend to happen as a result of people seeing
> the opportunity to make some cash.
> As a consumer, I'd prefer to have innovations come thicker and faster, even
> if it means spending more cash to get it earlier.
>  nope, [SA] only keeps the data free and prohibits the privatization of the
>> commons. which i'd say that's not innovation but robbery.
> Making a copy of something is not robbery, we worked that out long ago in
> the debates about music piracy.  A commercial operator can produce a value
> added work without withdrawing CC By material from the commons.
>  (After all, the
>>> author itself doesn't *have* to SA, only the downstream users!)
>> so the one creating value should not have privileges?
> They can if they want, but the original question here was around the
> default licence a *city* (i.e. government) should release under.  I don't
> know why a city should keep privileges from its citizens, including the
> option for those citizens to commercialise and seek a business opportunity
> from that commercialisation.
>  depends on liberally licensed works as contributions (i.e. CC By and
>>> public domain), but in turn it also allows full geodata
>>> roundtripping between government-crowd-commercial.
>> how can you ensure roundripping back from commercial to crowd and gov
>> without
>> an SA licence? or do you mean with roundtripping
>> gov-crowd-corporatelockin?
> I used the word "allows", not "ensure".  No, I can't ensure the trip back
> from commercial.  But it is not lockin either.  Commercial operators cannot
> lock-in any IP greater than their own IP.
>  Other references: http://www.ausgoal.gov.au/the-**ausgoal-licence-suite<http://www.ausgoal.gov.au/the-ausgoal-licence-suite>-
>>> "Among those, the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY) [...]
>>> provides the greatest opportunities for re-use of information"
>> i'd like to see the study that is the foundation for this statement.
> I hope some of my statements above give some illumination.  But others on
> this list may have ready access to chapter and verse.  To me it's simple.
>  The less additional clauses there are to a licence, the less people will be
> scared off by it.
> A more practical example:  Many western governments (at least .au, .us,
> .ca., .uk) cannot re-use contributions into OpenStreetMap (strong SA
> geodata).  Dropping SA allows re-use in this scenario.
> Brendan
> ______________________________**_________________
> open-government mailing list
> open-government at lists.okfn.org
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