[od-discuss] CC licenses and data(bases)

Adrian Pohl ad.pohl at googlemail.com
Wed Feb 2 11:16:48 GMT 2011


Hello,

I just read this post by Mike Linksvayer on the CC blog:
http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/26283

Amongst others it says:

"We occasionally encounter a misimpression that CC licenses can’t be
used for data and databases, or that we don’t want CC licenses to be
used for data and databases."

And:

"CC licenses can and should be used for data and databases, right now
(as they have been for 8 years) — with the important caveat that CC
3.0 license conditions do not extend to “protect” a database that is
otherwise uncopyrightable."

Obviously CC and OKF have different opinions about CC licenses being
appropriate for data. I usually supported OKFN's view that CC licenses
aren't appropriate for data and we recently expressed it in the
Principles on Open bibliographic Data[1]. I had first doubts about
this when the Berlin based lawyer Till Kreutzer with whom the hbz
created a legal guide on the digitization of public domain material[2]
couldn't find anything bad with using CC licenses for data but at last
we supported using data licenses in the guide.[3] The post on the CC
blog increased my doubts as there are now two professional sources
that don't find anything bad with using CC for data.

So, these different opinions from the two organizations increase my
uncertainty and might create uncertainty on licensors' side. I would
be grateful about a simple comparison of CC and ODB licenses in regard
to data licensing that makes it clear to non-lawyers why the different
licenses are more or less appropriate for data and data bases.

All the best
Adrian

[1] http://openbiblio.net/principles/
[2] http://www.irights.info/index.php?q=node/1987
[3] http://www.hbz-nrw.de/dokumentencenter/veroeffentlichungen/Digitalisierungsleitfaden.pdf,
p.49



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