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

On Sep 20, 2013, at 3:56 AM, MJ Ray wrote:

> On 09/19/13 23:59, Nick Oosterhof wrote:
>> I [NNO] also subscribed to the debian-legal list.
> Should we stop cc'ing?

Yes please, thanks.

>>>> 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?
> I think that would create an absurdity, a licence for Contents that says
> it does not apply to Contents = no valid licence = all rights reserved.

I see. So one would need to use another license for Contents.

>> [...] If not, what other license would be suitable?
> OKFN publish http://opendatacommons.org/licenses/dbcl/1.0/ but I don't
> know if any volunteers have reviewed that for debian, I've got to get to
> work soon and it would probably be better as its own thread, for
> visiblity.  Based on my personal experience of Rufus and others at OKFN,
> I'd be surprised if one of their licences failed DFSG.

All right, I'll start a new thread on this.

> I think sometimes there could be insufficient creativity in the Contents
> (so no copyright) and a Public Domain Declaration or CC0 may be best,
> depending on the laws where it was created; but I'd strongly suggest
> considering MIT/Expat, BSD or GPL, depending on your aims.  Some argue
> against using them for data

Indeed, for example opendatacommons.org says in their FAQ [1]:

"Why Not Use a Creative Commons (or Free/Open Source Software License) for Data(bases)?

Different types of subject matter (e.g. code, content or data) necessitate differences in licensing. Licenses designed for one type of subject matter — as CC licenses were designed for content, and F/OSS licenses for code — aren’t always best suited to licensing another type of subject matter."

[1] http://opendatacommons.org/faq/licenses/

> , but MIT and BSD aren't limited to programs
> and the GPL definition of "Program" is wide enough to cope with anything.

I see - though when there is no clear agreement across people I'd prefer using a license that is specifically aimed at distributing data / databases .

> [3.3 multiple licensing]
>>> 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.
> Yeah, the Licensor can do anything, but that includes things that don't
> meet the DFSG.  So might this mean that something multiple licensed
> could fail DFSG if both licences require us to use only that licence.

Are there any licenses that do this? For example, my understanding is that GPLv2 and GPLv3 are 'incompatible', but if someone releases the work under "GLPv2 or GLPv3 (at your option)", then someone else can take that work, modify it, and redistribute the derived work again under "GLPv2 or GLPv3 (at your option)" (or just under one of these licenses only). no?

>> [...] 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.
> No and (as ever) it depends on the aim but I'd prefer one of MIT/BSD/GPL.
> Hope that helps,

It did - thanks for your help.

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