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Re: JPL Planetary Ephemeris DE405

Ben Finney <bignose@debian.org> writes:
> Ole Streicher <olebole@debian.org> writes:
>> The exception used here is that facts are not copyrightable. Positions
>> and movement parameters of celestial bodies, presented in their natural
>> form (to keep the use of JPL-DE data as example) are bare facts. And
>> most of research data is just this: facts.
> You keep stating this as though it is universally true. It has been
> pointed out, in this thread and many times before, that “it's a
> collection of facts” does *not* constitute a universal
> get-out-of-copyright incantation.
> I wish what you assert were true; but it simply is not. For example,
> so-called “sui generis” database restrictions recognise copyright in
> even collections of brute facts, in many Berne signatory jurisdictions
> <URL:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sui_generis_database_right>.

This is *not* copyright. This is a different protection. Please don't
mix the terms here.

> In jurisdictions like those, where such restrictions are recognised
> under law, merely being a collection of facts does not constitute an
> exception to general copyright restriction.

You may check the EU directive 96/9C as an example: it explicitly states
two distinct types of database protection:

1. copyright protection (which does not apply here),
2. sue generis protection (which is limited in what it protects)

For the JPL-DE databases: they are not protected by sui generis based on this
directive, because

* the sui generis protection is limited to 15 years after publication
  (which was in the 70s-90s for JPL-DE)

* they protect only database makers from the EU (which is not the case
  for JPL)

* they only protect the effort to collect and organize the database, but
  not to collect the data themself. In the JPL case, the effort is
  however in collection the data. This is not to compare with
  f.e. wikimaps, where a big effort is made to collect and organize the
  data. Wikimaps is however no research data.

> Therefore the work is by default restricted by copyright law.

It is not copyrighted, because it falls under the "facts" exception. It
may be protected by other law, but this protection is not copyright (and
therefore you can't assume it is protected by default).

> Therefore the work cannot be in Debian without license conditions that
> satisfy the DFSG.

>> To bring some citations:
> Those are, as far as I can tell, statements that *some jurisdictions*
> exempt works like these.

That is US and EU, sure. But the exception that facts are not
copyrightable is universal. Jurisdictions *may* have *additional* forms
of protection (like sui generis), but these are not universal, and you
can't just assume that they are effective by default.

Best regards


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