[od-discuss] OD Proliferation Policy

Mike Linksvayer ml at gondwanaland.com
Tue Mar 19 17:14:25 GMT 2013


Anyone want to suggest an addition or other edit to
http://opendefinition.org/licenses/process/ ?

I would guess maybe another point in the submission instructions and a
paragraph summarizing the excellent points Kent makes below. Kent? :-)

Mike

On Tue, Mar 19, 2013 at 12:51 AM, Kent Mewhort <kent at openissues.ca> wrote:
> Walter, I disagree that the " the question is not why the City of Calgary
> finds it necessary to have a special license but whether the existing
> license is acceptable as is, can be made open with minor modification, or
> should be abandoned in favour of what is currently being recommended".
> Perhaps this is technically true as per the current OD procedure and the
> definition itself, but I think this may need to change.
>
>
> Sooner or later, we'll need to have some type of policy to deal with licence
> proliferation.  The growing list (already in the dozens) of municipalities
> and other government bodies in Canada who are coming up with their own
> custom licences is a disconcerting and increasingly problematic trend.  The
> Calgary licence is just one of many Canadian municipal data licences that
> could easily be replaced with a suitable standard licence.  It's also likely
> the approval of one will just open a flood gate of every other city in
> Canada requesting similar approval.
>
> The OSI's report on licence proliferation could be a good starting point for
> a policy here, and their justification hits the nail on the head:
> "While it might at first sight not seem appropriate for the popularity of a
> license to be significant in categorizing it, popular and long-established
> licenses have an important thing going for them: the existence of an
> established interpretive tradition and a well-developed set of expectations
> about correct behavior with respect to them. This is significant in reducing
> confusion and (especially in common-law countries) is even likely to
> condition judicial interpretation of the licenses."
>
> These non-reusable licences, such as the one the City of Calgary is using,
> are typically called "vanity licences" because they're akin to vanity
> licence plates: there's no real justification for them other than the
> branding of one's own name into the licence and a feeling of control over
> the labels and text.  I'd like to see much more justification for the
> special needs of the City of Calgary justifying a special licence.
>
> In fact, overall, I'd suggest that a good procedural policy would be a
> reverse burden that requires anyone requesting a licence review to justify
> why CC, ODC, or, at the very least, national government licences, are not a
> suitable fit.  Even without having a strict requirement for a licence to
> differ, a procedural step of needing to adequately justify the differences
> will at least encourage licencors to look at, and better consider, these
> existing options.
>
> Kent
>
>
>
> On 13-03-18 08:21 PM, Simbirski, Walter wrote:
>
> Hi Andrew,
>
>
>
> Thanks for your response.
>
>
>
> In order to understand why City of Calgary would find it necessary to have a
> special license  it should be noted that the current City of Calgary license
> is well over a year old, which may not seem very old but it predates some of
> the other licenses. So the question is not why the City of Calgary finds it
> necessary to have a special license but whether the existing license is
> acceptable as is, can be made open with minor modification, or should be
> abandoned in favour of what is currently being recommended. We are currently
> undergoing what should be a major overhaul of our Open Data Catalogue and
> reviewing all aspects of the catalogue including the license.
>
>
>
> With that in mind I would answer your questions as follows:
>
>
>
> 1.       Limiting the liability of the City would be a simpler and better –
> agreed.
>
> 2.       The “any lawful use” clause is to make it clear that the City of
> Calgary does not endorse the use of the data in a manner that would be
> deemed unlawful. The issue of jurisdiction may be problematic but we felt
> this was less restrictive than a clause such as, “You must not distort,
> mutilate, modify or take other derogatory action in relation to the Work
> which would be prejudicial to the Original Author's honor or reputation”,
> that is part of the current Creative Commons License Legal Code (section 4.c
> http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/legalcode ).  We did not want to
> be viewed as limiting the user’s right to criticize the City of Calgary.
>
> 3.       This is actually two issues – the first being that the user would
> be bound by later changes to the license and I agree that this should be
> replaced with a statement granting perpetual use under the license applied
> at the time of download. The second issue is the one of attribution and,
> again, it relates the Creative Commons legal statement identified in item 2
> – we felt that we would not restrict users from using the data in a manner
> that might be prejudicial to the City’s honor or reputation, provided such
> use was lawful in nature,  but we also didn’t want it to appear that the
> City was endorsing products that could be viewed as immoral or as a conflict
> of interest even though they may be lawful in nature.
>
> 4.       Agreed. No such restriction exists with any data sets available
> today but we felt that in the future such data sets could be  made available
> directly or indirectly through the Open Data Catalogue. One of the reasons
> for this exercise is to obtain permission to use the OKFN’s OPEN DATA button
> which would provide a readily identifiable means of distinguishing truly
> open data sets from those which may have restrictions.
>
>
>
> With respect to your statement:
>
>
>
> [2] Note that CC-BY 3.0 actually allows the licensor to make the attribution
> optional, if that is what you want.  It also has provisions about what to do
> if there would be a lengthy list of attributions in a “collection”.
>
>
>
> Sorry – I’m not seeing that in the CC license. I’m not sure what I’m
> missing.
>
>
>
> Again – Thanks for taking the time to respond.
>
>
>
> Walter
>
>
>
>
>
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