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Re: ODC-By license -- DFSG-compliant?

Dear MJ Ray,

thanks for looking into this.

On Sep 19, 2013, at 1:45 PM, MJ Ray wrote:

On 09/12/13 17:33, Yaroslav Halchenko wrote:
Do you foresee any problems with
Open Data Commons Attribution License (ODC-By) v1.0

Thanks for searching before asking.  What package are you considering
this for?

In the future this /may/ end up in BioSig [1]. But more generally we would like to share neuroimaging data (fMRI, MEEG) collected from human participants and/or phantoms, in the context of cognitive neuroscience .experiments. 

It will almost always need to be
combined with (an) other licence(s), but it seems to meet DFSG 1, 2, 3
and 7 without violating 4, 5, 6, 8 or 9, so I don't see any other problems.

That's good to hear.

P.S. Please maintain CC to Nick in the replies.


Thanks. I also subscribed to the debian-legal list.

Quoting key sections:

2.4 Relationship to Contents in the Database. [...]
So I think it will nearly always need another licence to make a package
meet DFSG because it does not cover the copyright of the Contents (see 2.2).

Can the Contents be licensed under ODC-By as well, or would that create something circular / recursive?

If not, what other license would be suitable? Some use cases are:
1) recording of a few seconds of 'noise' with a set of MEEG channels to test i/o functionality for a particular data format
2) pre-processed and fully anonymized data from a human participant (who has given consent that the data (Database+Content) can be distributed under ODC-By)

In each case the data itself is organized in a particular way and thus may - I think - be considered as a database itself. For example,
(1) data for each combination of time point and channel could be the Content.
(2) data at each brain location and time point could be Content.

Then the full dataset would be a Database. Does this make sense, and if so, is a separate license needed for Content?
(of note is that is debatable to what extent Content as defined above could be considered a creative work - in other words, whether it can be copyrighted.)

3.3 The right to release the Database under different terms, or to stop
distributing or making available the Database, is reserved. Note that
this Database may be multiple-licensed, and so You may have the choice
of using alternative licenses for this Database. Subject to Section
10.4, all other rights not expressly granted by Licensor are reserved.

How does multiple-licensing interact with section 4.2.a?  Can we
distribute under a multiple-licensing ourselves?

I would assume that the Licensor, if they made the Database, is allowed to license the Database under multiple License. Is it correct to interpret the foregoing as that if You receive the same database under multiple licenses, then You are can choose whichever license to use. If you choose to use the ODC-By license, then you are bound by section 4.2.

So the remaining question is, I think, whether Content can be licensed under ODC-By. If not, another question is whether it has to be licensed under another license, and if so, which license would be most appropriate.

Thanks again,

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