[open-science] Big and open data – who should bear data transfer costs?

P Kishor punk.kish at gmail.com
Sat May 17 15:36:13 UTC 2014

On Sat, May 17, 2014 at 8:29 AM, Lukasz Bolikowski
<l.bolikowski at icm.edu.pl>wrote:

> I'm still not sure, though, how to classify data sets on AWS (open or
> not?).  If I were a for-profit company like Amazon, I would probably
> provide financial incentives to use my infrastructure and discourage
> transfers outside.  Peter mentioned earlier "transparent and acceptable"
> costs as requirements for openness.  It's unrealistic to expect the level
> of financial transparency from Amazon that would allow us to judge whether
> data made available via AWS is "open".  After all, IMHO there is no social
> nor legal contract that would bind Amazon to disclose financial details of
> their policy on data transfer charges.

I am missing something. "Open" has nothing to do with Amazon. Whether or
not something is open (the way we think of open here) is decided by the
person who has the rights to do so. Remember, you can only relinquish the
rights you have, so if you create something, and you have rights in it, you
can give those rights away, thereby making that thing open. You can't just
divine something made by someone else to be open.

Once you, the rights-holder, have decided that thing is open, AWS is just
the conduit. Stuff on AWS is *not* owned by Amazon. You pay for AWS, and
AWS provides you service in return. AWS doesn't care what you are hosting
on it. If I download the content from AWS, and if the content is open, once
you (and I) have paid our respective share of transferring the content, I
can do whatever you have permitted me to do with it. I still don't own the
content. It is still owned by you. You have just given me the permission to
use it, assuming we are not talking about the public domain or CC0 (in the
case of PD or CC0, no one owns it.).

Puneet Kishor
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