Re: Biological data being used by an unpublished research paper is considered proprietary
On Wed, 25 Sep 2013, Steve Langasek wrote:
On Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 12:59:11PM +0100, Peter Rice wrote:
On 16/09/2013 11:31, Faheem Mitha wrote:
This is really not Debian-related, except insofar as the software in
question is something that might have been in Debian one day. I talked
about that with people on debian-med recently. So, it is technically
I posted a reply on stackexchange with instructions to get the data
from the EBI SRS server.
However, I have run into this issue before in the context of biological
database entries and Debian so it may be worth discussing here. There
were objections to including SwissProt entries in the example data for
the EMBOSS package because the licensing of SwissProt does not allow
them to be edited. That was resolved by agreeing that scientific facts
should not be edited so that the files could be accepted as part of a
Debian package even though they could not be changed. A fine compromise
Hopefully, this is a misstatement of the actual rationale for including
this data in Debian, because it is *not* acceptable to have packages in
main containing data that we are not allowed to modify.
Well, I suppose you can modify the data, but then it won't be the same
The real rationale is surely that, because facts are *not governed by
copyright*, any licensing claim over this data is ignorable.
So, biological data is not actually copyrightable? Can you (or anyone
else) give me relevant documentation about that? Apparently it may vary by
jurisdiction. Does anyone know the rules in the EU, which seems to be what
is relevant here, since the servers in question are in Europe?
For the record, I've gone ahead and removed the data from my repository,
because I wasn't sure whether the person telling me not to distribute it
had the right to do so or not. I've added a script to download the data,
and will document it. It is not really a big deal either way, but if I had
some definite information I could for example email this person back with
I wonder if debian-legal would be a better place to ask this. I haven't
Steve Langasek Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer to set it on, and I can move the world.
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