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Re: data "copyright" or not -- what is Debian's take?

Le Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 10:44:34AM -0500, Yaroslav Halchenko a écrit :
> Or should I advise to use the text of MIT license, verbally and
> explicitly describing possible uses and disclaiming any warranty?
> but once again without any copyright statement.

Dear Yaroslav,

licenses of the family of the MIT or the BSD require to to reproduce copyright
statements on derivatives, and I think that it would cause headaches to many to
attempt to seriously comply with them. We are blessed that a lot of data is
truly in the U.S. public domain and therefore we can use it completely freely.

In case deposition in the public domain is not permitted by the law, I would
recommend to use very permissive terms. Some people keep it short, with the
WTFPL or the politically correcter BOLA, and some people prefer longer terms to
hammer the fact that by giving their data, they can not be responsible for
disappointments, errors or misuses made by third parties. The Creative Commons
Zero was invented for that case.


In any case, I recommend to not use the MIT or equivalent licenses that are
picky on copyright reproduction, unless it is the will of the copyright holders
to have their names accompanying each and every derivative. But can you imagine
the mess if one had to track which contributor to acknowledge when reproducing
an extract of the human genome ?


Charles Plessy
Debian Med packaging team,
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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