[od-discuss] Please review: 'Datenlizenz Deutschland' for OD compliance.

Mike Linksvayer ml at gondwanaland.com
Sat Mar 2 23:21:57 UTC 2013

On Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 9:07 PM, Andrew Stott
<andrew.stott at dirdigeng.com> wrote:
> It’s unclear to me what the precise meaning of the requirement is.
> (1) is it saying (a) that all the actual changes must be documented (Herb’s
> interpretation); or is it saying (b) that the attribution statement must be
> different if the data is changed (for instance from “reproduces data from
> Ministry” to “modified from data from Ministry”)?  The original German
> refers to a “Veränderungshinweis” which Google translates as a “Change
> Notice”, which could mean either a description of the changes or simply a
> notice that changes had been made.
> I recall seeing an Australian example [1] of CC-BY which required a
> different attribution statement if that data had been changed.
> (2) is it saying (a) that the licensor can later at its discretion instruct
> the licensee to remove the attribution (Herb’s interpretation); or is it
> saying (b) that the licensor can specify *in advance* that an attribution
> should *never* be given if the data is changed?
> I agree with Herb that if the meaning is 1(a) and 2(a) then it is
> non-conformant – and 1(a) would be burdensome and 2(a) would leave
> indefinite uncertainty.
> However requiring simply a different fixed attribution text (as in
> interpretation 1(b)), or no attribution at all (2(b)), if the data has been
> changed would seem to me to be a conformant way of the licensor distancing
> himself from modified data where there was reputational or moral liability
> involved.

I'm not sure what the clause means either, but my best guess is a weak
version of 1(a) together with 2(b) (referring to Andrew's descriptions
above, not license sections). By weak, I mean that it doesn't require
a machine-readable version of changes. It would be great if the
language were more explicit, or if it already is, a German speaker
could explain.

But I'm not sure any of above readings would make the proposed
attribution license non-Open. 2(a) is problematic, but then all
previously-deemed-Open CC BY and BY-SA licenses have that. As they do
require a weak version of 1(a). And previously-deemed-Open licenses
includes a strong version of 1(a), in particular ODbL does, as an
alternative to full source distribution (which may or may not be less
onerous depending on circumstances; OTOH maybe as an alternative it is
OK, but without full source option it is not).

Though I'm not certain above readings would make proposed license
non-Open, I'd recommend both making conditions more clear and ensuring
they are minimal -- this presumably aims to be a permissive
attribution-only license; its effectiveness as such will be greatly
limited by difficult to understand and possibly understood as onerous


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