[open-science] the infectious character of CC-SA works like ... ?

Egon Willighagen egon.willighagen at gmail.com
Sat Feb 18 10:26:58 UTC 2012

Hi Cameron,

On Sat, Feb 18, 2012 at 11:09 AM,  <cameron.neylon at stfc.ac.uk> wrote:
> The other question is what is the intention? Well the drafters of the SA licence didn't want to consider data really so in a sense their intentions aren't relevant. If you look closely at the CC terms in 3.0  you will see that people are largely giving any non copyright rights up, which doesn't leave much for data. So then you're reduced to respecting what you think the wishes of the data providers are. So you can either ask them, or take the most conservative path, erring on e side of caution.

We already have asked to providers, but that is kind of asking for
additional rights... so, my question is indeed a bit theoretical, and
I am seeking real-world stories indeed. I will document whatever
replies I get.

> I would guess that when people apply SA terms what they mostly are thinking of is GPL style protections.

Yes, but like GPL *or* like Affero GPL...

The difference for source code is tremendous... the GPL is only
"infectious" if the software is distributed. So, what people started
doing was take GPL software, host that online, modify and improve, but
not share those improvements. Since they are not distributing the
software, they are not required to open source their improvemens.
That's what the "Affero GPL", ummm, solves.

Now, the same can happen to data. Someone picks up some CC-SA database
from chemistry, host this, enrich that with cool new stuff, fixing
typos in the original database... but, would those typo fixes need to
be shared under CC-SA?

Possible answers:

Yes, SA works like the Affero GPL.
No, they are not redistributing the data as such, and the SA bit does not apply.

I can imagine many answers, and many intentions. But what I am looking
for mostly, is how others have put the SA clause into practice.

> It would be great if you could document what you end up doing and why. We need real stories of how these different licensing choices interact with reality so we can stop talking so much about abstract possibilities and look at real evidence when we encourage people to take certain approaches.

Yes, and those stories I am indeed seeking :)

But, given the state of Open Data, I am a bit skeptic in getting any
reply at all :/


Dr E.L. Willighagen
Postdoctoral Researcher
Department of Bioinformatics - BiGCaT
Maastricht University (http://www.bigcat.unimaas.nl/)
Homepage: http://egonw.github.com/
LinkedIn: http://se.linkedin.com/in/egonw
Blog: http://chem-bla-ics.blogspot.com/
PubList: http://www.citeulike.org/user/egonw/tag/papers

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