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

Peter Murray-Rust pm286 at cam.ac.uk
Sat May 17 18:47:31 UTC 2014

"Open" relates to freedom to copy and redistribute. Here's a possible

A creates an Open data set and mounts it on A's site carrying a CC 0
licence. B copies it. A then removes the data set from public access. (A
has no obligation to continue to mount the set). B makes the data set
available for C to copy.

If B and C delete their copies there is now no Open instance. A is not
obliged to re-offer the dataset.

It is the freedom to copy that determines Open. Open is not a mandate to
require permanent cost-free access or maintenance. The power of Open ("the
freedom to fork") depends on enough people making copies so that if the
originator disappears or goes closed, then the copiers can continue to
preserve the Object.

Databases sometimes become closed. It may therefore be important to try to
take copies at regular intervals.

On Sat, May 17, 2014 at 7:14 PM, Lukasz Bolikowski
<l.bolikowski at icm.edu.pl>wrote:

> On 05/17/2014 06:26 PM, P Kishor wrote:
> > [...]
> Thanks for the clear and elaborate answer, all of what you wrote makes
> perfect sense.  Let me try to sum up the thread.
> The context is: while preparing for a lecture, I listed some interesting
> data sets available on AWS.  Since downloads are not free-of-charge, I
> hesitated whether to use the word "open" on the slides.
> Puneet says that in order to determine whether a given data set is open,
> one has to examine only the license on which the rights owner originally
> published the data set.  What happens with the data set afterwards is
> irrelevant.
> Peter says that in order to earn the "open" label, a data set should
> additionally be made available at a reasonable reproduction cost. Ideally,
> it should be possible to access the data set free-of-charge.
> Others' opinions were somewhere between the two.
> Is that accurate? (Terribly sorry if I misrepresented anyone's position.)
> Best regards,
> Lukasz
> --
> Dr. Łukasz Bolikowski, Assistant Professor
> Centre for Open Science, ICM, University of Warsaw
> Contact details: http://www.icm.edu.pl/~bolo/

Peter Murray-Rust
Reader in Molecular Informatics
Unilever Centre, Dep. Of Chemistry
University of Cambridge
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