[Open-Legislation] Reply to: API for EU legislation

Friedrich Lindenberg friedrich.lindenberg at okfn.org
Thu May 26 12:39:19 UTC 2011

Hi Niels Erik,

this is awesome! Thanks so much for taking care of the licensing
issue, enabling all of us to re-use the API. You're really doing a
fantastic job on the site and this is the essential step to making the
data open :-)

- Friedrich

On Thu, May 26, 2011 at 2:15 PM, Niels Erik Kaaber Rasmussen
<niels at buhlrasmussen.eu> wrote:
> Dear Francis
> Thanks for your answer. We have now added the following terms to the
> API-page under documentation (http://api.epdb.eu#doc):
> "Terms
> From our side we don't impose any restrictions on your use of the API. You
> can mash up with other data set and pass that on to others. You can
> sub-license derived works and in general do whatever you want to with the
> API. We don't require you to attribute us, but will be very happy if you do
> so. However you should be aware that the data itself is taken from the
> mentioned databases and that the owners of these databases might impose
> their terms of use, that we cannot be responsible for. You are responsible
> yourself to comply with any such third party terms.
> For the content that is ours (ie. does not belong to EUR-Lex, PreLex or any
> other official source) - the API for European Union legislation is made
> available under the Open Database License:
> http://opendatacommons.org/licenses/odbl/1.0/. Any rights in individual
> contents of the database are licensed under the Database Contents License:
> http://opendatacommons.org/licenses/dbcl/1.0/"
> Do you think that this statement on terms and conditions is satisfying or is
> further steps required to make the API "really open"?
> Best, Niels Erik
> --
> http://buhlrasmussen.eu
> (+45) 2680 9492
> On Thu, 26 May 2011 11:47:00 +0100, Francis Davey wrote:
>> 2011/5/26 Niels Erik Kaaber Rasmussen <niels at buhlrasmussen.eu>:
>>> Dear 'Open-Legislation'
>>> I found your thread on our EU API here (dated May 6) and would be glad to
>>> know which kind of terms and conditions you'd like to see present at the
>>> API. The data is not ours it is taken from different official sources, so
>>> we
>>> can't really license it - what we can do is to provide a free an open
>>> interface for others to use it.
>>> In regards to itsyourparliament - the data we have there has been public
>>> nearly since the opening of the site in the beginning of 2010, see
>>> http://www.itsyourparliament.eu/api/
>>> Stefan Marsiske states that "...there is unclear licensing, and it's not
>>> really open." - we are sorry for the unclear licensing, how can we fix
>>> that?
>>> And what can we do to make it really open?
>> Ideally, release it under a well recognised open licence. That is
>> easier said than done of course because creative commons doesn't
>> properly handle database rights and (for some people) the ODbL is too
>> complex.
>> You may find the ODbL is appropriate and meets your attribution
>> requirements. I'd give it a careful read:
>> http://www.opendatacommons.org/licenses/odbl/
>> In practical terms its not clear from your website what I am allowed
>> to do with your data. In particular, can I mash it up with other data
>> and pass that on to others (say via my own API)? In legal terms, may I
>> sub-license derived works? On the main page you talk about "linking
>> back" but even in these days people sometimes produce work that is not
>> made available via a webpage (or not solely) so what then? Presumably
>> you want attribution one way or another.
>> This isn't meant to be a criticism of mine, I'm just suggesting
>> reasons why someone might want more clarity in licensing.
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