[open-science] Openness and Licensing of (Open) Data

Yishay Mor yishaym at gmail.com
Fri Feb 6 12:00:23 GMT 2009

I confess, I haven't been able to follow this discussion in detail. Some of
the comments appeared to have a lot of intellectual gravity behind them, but
were simply too long for me to take in. Would anyone care to provide an
executive summary?

I may be off the mark, but I would argue that there's a general principle to
consider here. I hold that any data collected by public money should be made
freely available to the public, for any use that contributes to the public
good. Strikes me as a no-brainer, but of course - we have a long way to go.
If we accept this principle, the licensing follows.

By the way, this may be relevant:

 Yishay Mor, Researcher, London Knowledge Lab
  +44-20-78378888 x5737

2009/2/6 Andy Powell <andy.powell at eduserv.org.uk>

> > > It's an issue of control - if researchers feel they have
> > ownership of
> > > this protocol/standard then there will be fewer barriers to
> > adoption.
> > > If there is a perception that the protocol is "owned"
> > > by lawyers, which is what I believe will happen if it is called a
> > > license, then there will be very strong resistance.
> >
> > So much as hint to a scientist that a lawyer might "take
> > their work away" and you have a fight on your hands.  Doesn't
> > matter if the perception is not accurate; it's very common
> > (I'd say almost universal) and likely to be very difficult to change.
> Interesting (to me at least!) that the concern that "a lawyer might
> 'take their work away'" doesn't appear to have been a problem in the
> adoption of open licences for software?  Are scientists significantly
> more wary of lawyers than programmers?  I suppose the difference is that
> software space was already burdened with heavily protective licences and
> that the introduction of open licences was perceived as a step in the
> right direction, at least by those who like that kind of thing.
> Similarly, in the cultural heritage space, it seems to me that any
> slowness to move towards openness of digitised artifacts (for example)
> is not caused by a concern that CC is codified as a set of 'licences' or
> that lawyers might have been involved in their creation, rather with
> more fundamental concerns about the impact of being 'open' on business
> models and the like.
> Andy
> --
> Research Programme Director, Eduserv
> http://www.eduserv.org.uk/foundation/
> http://efoundations.typepad.com/
> andy.powell at eduserv.org.uk
> +44 (0)1225 474319
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