Re: xearth debian developer database decision
On Wed, 12 Nov 1997, Brian White wrote:
> > All right, fiat mode on.
> > I'm going to work under the assumption that the data _is_ copyrightable
> > until someone proves otherwise.
> As far as I understand it, "data" cannot be copyrighted. It is always
> public domain. However, you can copyright a "collection of data".
The Telephone Book has a copyright (for mine it's copyright SPRINT, YMMV),
so it should be clear the collection can be protected by copyright. What
isn't clear is the protection any given individual has from having
"personal" information in public repositories. The phone company deals
with this by issuing "unlisted" numbers, which it "doesn't publish".
As a potential illustration let us consider myself as a "very perculiar"
example. I say very perculiar because the information in my sig appears no
where else in print, or in electronic form. The address reference at the
post office lists a LOT and BLOCK number for the property, the deed for
that plot is in my name, but nowhere else. My business phone is listed
under Flexible Software, and the home phone is listed under my partners
This makes me the originator of the text found in my sig, and, as such, I
suspect that I can place it under copyright protection. (not that I have
I think my point is that, even with expert legal advise, resolving issues
of copyright are never going to speak to the problem. It seems to me the
problem lies with those who do not wish such information about themselves
to be made public. This is an issue of desired privacy that we need to
satisfy. One of the problems that I have with this privacy, is that it has
already been violated. That is, once a person becomes a developer and
submits a package to the distribution, then, at least his/her name and
email address are available to anyone wishing to look at the package.
(Third parties can easily make up a list of "active" maintainers of Debian
packages from the Contents file)
It seems to me that the approach here should be to find a "limited" set of
data about maintainers, that we can all agree to publishing. I can see
someone complaining about a list of names and email addresses, but they
already exist, so it seems that this is the "starting" point for
negotiations. Does anyone in the group object to having a database of
names, email addresses, and LAT LON coordinates of home rounded to the
nearest degree? Beyond that, can anyone think of some other information
that would be valuable to the general public? (I can't come up with
anything free from objection)
While I understand the need for the project to have a record of "physical"
location for each of us, I think that this information should not be made
public information. What protections does SPI have from "examination" of
aka Dale Scheetz Phone: 1 (850) 656-9769
Flexible Software 11000 McCrackin Road
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tallahassee, FL 32308
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