[open-science] Openness and Licensing of (Open) Data
heatherm at eln.bc.ca
Thu Feb 5 21:53:16 GMT 2009
thanks to everyone who has contributed very useful and thoughtful
discussion on this important topic!
The problem and the reason why licenses are needed, in my opnion, is
not scientists, but rather commercial for-profit businesses. I would
argue that taking stuff that starts out free and selling it under
locked-down conditions IS the norm. This is fine is the original
free version is there - but this will not always be the case.
For example, consider the OCLC takeover of OAIster, and OCLC's
current view of IP and data. If OCLC continues to keep up (including
growing and developing) the free version of OAIster, all well and
good, along with a toll-access version for OCLC customers, all well
and good. If, however, the free version is abandoned, or simply not
kept up so that it becomes less and less useful, then people are in
the position of giving away data for free, for someone else to profit
on with no obligation to share themselves.
An appropriate sharealike-style license for data would likely prevent
this situation, and if it did not, would give the free sharing
community a legal means of stopping it.
The primary purpose of the licensing approach would not be to go to
court or even to clarify the rules, but rather to clarify the
expectation of sharing and so avoid the means to go to court.
Any opinion expressed in this e-mail is that of the author alone, and
does not represent the opinion or policy of BC Electronic Library
Network or Simon Fraser University Library.
Heather Morrison, MLIS
The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics
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