A question about open databases license

Michel Roche listes.pichel at free.fr
Tue Dec 9 09:50:43 UTC 2014

Le 05/12/2014 09:35, Hugo Roy a écrit :
> Hello Michel,
Hello all,

> I just wanted to point out that licensing, as such, cannot resolve
> fear of the unknown. Choosing a license based on fears and
> unverified assumptions does not seem like a good basis to start
> opening up government data.

You three finally express the same thought which is summarized above.
And well... that was my first reaction when the problem aroused. In my
advice giving mission I'm in touch with the IT guy of the organization
whom is pretty open minded, and clearly will to implement a real and
sincere opening of data project. But when he came accross the desk of X
which is in charge of geographical data, announcing the organization
would open all data including geographical one, X's face turned green.
Despite the bureau of the organization has decided to implement an
opening of data, a tech guy coming in and howling that they are going to
kill the golden eggs hen would have some effect on them ;-) We're OK to
say we should open X's mind, but well... talkinh with IT guy he lead me
to search if licensing options could help with the issue.

That's when I launched this discussion. All your answers helped me come
back firmly on my first assumptions, and while I'm not in a position to
teach them how they should behave as a public organization, I'll let
them know my advice on how the best way to open data is : open !

I think that Heiki's sentence about the aim of licencing is very true
and should be enforced by all means :
> Free licences should aim to provide legal clarity, not
> make things fuzzier than they are.
And trying to use them to make some reuses difficult is clearly not
providing clarity but provisioning for later lawyers disputes.

Now, I have some technical questions raised by Heiki's remark :
> Sui generis database rights are a horrible mistake of the European
> parliament. 

I went accros reading the 96/9/CE directive which instantiates this sui
generis database rights, on the model of Intellectual Property as I
understand it.
Which aspect(s) are you considering horrible ?
- the simple fact to have invented a new type of copyright ?
- the fact that (article 7.4) the right applies independently of the
copyrights that may be applied to the database or its content ? Thus
making it impossible to evade it, unless, as you seem to say, we totally
waive the database rights with a copyleft license (such as CC,
PublicDomain, and eventually CC-BY, Open Licence)
- why don't you include ODC-BY in the acceptable licences ? (I don't
mind not using it, the question is just for the sake of precision)

Very pragmatic now :
Let assume I have a set of meteorological data fitted in a text file
(say a .csv). Am I correct in saying :
- The Database is the csv file itself, the Content is the raw data itself.
- If I put under a PD license the database, and a CC-BY the content this
means : anyone can reuse the file, but as it's content is cc-by will
have to attribute the work accordingly. Finally, I could have put under
CC-BY both of them without changing many things ?
- If I do the opposite : Db under CC-BY, Content under PD. anyone can
reuse some parts of the data without having to attribute paternity. But
if one wants to make advantage of the file (the Db) in its reuse, he
would have to attribute paternity ?

I'm just trying to understand the licensing scheme and not really
willing to do such licensing things ;-)


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