[okfn-discuss] implications of licensing restrictions on ontologies
jo at frot.org
Wed Apr 11 21:17:26 BST 2007
i am back in write-only mode again but wanted to braindump a bit
about the question of what happens when ontologies are under licensing
constraints specifically noncommercial use, but also attribution.
http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/ontology/ OS geodata ontologies (e.g.
taxonomical/logical models intended for partial reuse in structured
data description). They are being released under a CC-NC-BY-SA license.
What gives if an ontology is licensed for noncommercial use only (and
has an SA clause?)
- If i subclass something in it for my own use does that become a
- If i make a data set using its terms does that become subject to the
same license constraints e.g. that data cannot be then be subject to
commercial use (because it depends on the OS ontology?)
- What happens if instead of subclassing i make a direct, exact copy
at a different URL and maintain it in parallel. Am i infringing some
"copyright" on the information stated in a model - an abstract model
of how towns relate to counties relate to regions doesn't really
seem copyrightable. So exactly what is being copyrighted in the
ontology, if not "only the model available at this URL" (which is
what the OWL definition implies...
But when i had a look at it, the RDF itself still states that the model
is Crown Copyright. I pinged a contact at the OS's semantic web group
to ask to fix, and enquire what possible justification there is for
imposing a noncommercial use clause on an OWL ontology...
The geodata database rights question is covered in the Guardian and
goes round the geoblogosphere, that is just great to see.
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