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Re: MaintainerDatabase Copyright

I am sorry to be so slowheaded, but I am still somewhat confused about
this whole issue.

What concerns people: is it *really* copyright or is it more
relating to privacy?

Take the xearth markers file. 

I can certainly understand why somebody would not like to publish
their address. I can sort of understand why somebody would hesitate to
publish the precise coordinates of their home, but suppose the xearth
markers was produced by some rounding process from the (more) precise
data in the database, such that result was guaranteed to be correct
only to (say) whole degrees.

That would still give us a working xearth, without pinpointing the
location of people (it would even allow us to move people a little so
that they are falling on top of each other).

Now, if privacy is the concern (ie. keeping the location from the
general public), that should be addressed by the rounding process. And
if privacy is the heart of the matter, the unprecise markers report
could be distributed without any further restrictions, because privacy
is ensured.

But I am having a hard time understanding how somebody could be
concerned about malicious modification of the markers file. The list
of maintainers are available by other means, and one can relatively
easily reproduce a markers file yielding a similar appearance and thus
circumventing the copyright completely.

>From a privacy standpoint, any report can be generated and publically
distributed (with few or no restrictions, but signed of course) as
long as it does not reveal information of higher privacy levels than
"public", either by excluding the information or by "encrypting" (as
by rounding coordinates) it in a way that makes it useless.

The idea is that public information is eaxctly that, and I personally
does not see a reason to copyright it in clever ways, though a 
`use guideline' sounds like a good idea.

Christian Lynbech          | Computer Science Department, University of Aarhus
Office: R0.32              | Ny Munkegade, Building 540, DK-8000 Aarhus C
Phone: +45 8942 3218       | lynbech@daimi.aau.dk -- www.daimi.aau.dk/~lynbech
Hit the philistines three times over the head with the Elisp reference manual.
                                        - petonic@hal.com (Michael A. Petonic)

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