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Fwd: [RDA-CODATA-cwg-LegalInterop] Appropriate licenses or waivers for RDA oputput?

  • Creator
  • #128886

    Mark Parsons

    Sent from my iPad
    Begin forwarded message:
    From: “Eisenstadt, Anita”
    Date: January 5, 2014 at 4:35:35 PM MST
    To: “Parsons, Mark”
    , “Uhlir, Paul”
    Cc: Harlan Onsrud , Catherine Doldirina
    Subject: RE: [RDA-CODATA-cwg-LegalInterop] Appropriate licenses or waivers for RDA oputput?
    Mark, Paul, Harlan and Catherine – I have been thinking about this issue this past week and had a chance to speak with Mike Carroll as well. As Mark notes, the RDA group is focusing on the appropriate license for products produced by RDA, in contrast to the databases deposited in the GEOSS Data Core which are typically not created by GEOSS. Mike and I are leaning towards CC0 over CC-BY 4.0 because it creates the least burden on downstream users. I agree with Mark that norms for attribution is a distinct issue from which license to select. Although we should encourage users of RDA documents to provide attribution to RDA and should provide some guidance on what the norms are for attribution and what type of attribution RDA expects, we don’t believe that we need to use CC-BY 4.0 to enforce attribution via copyright enforcement. One of the group members also raised a concern about users revising RDA interoperability standards and confusing folks in the future about which version of the standards were adopted by RDA. Although this is a valid issue, in our view, licensing is not the most appropriate vehicle for such behavior. Misrepresentation of RDA adopted standards would violate other accepted norms of behavior as well and could be addressed via other channels.
    I will be on the call tomorrow morning.
    From: Parsons, Mark [***@***.***]
    Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2014 2:38 PM
    To: Uhlir, Paul
    Cc: Harlan Onsrud; Catherine Doldirina; Eisenstadt, Anita
    Subject: Re: [RDA-CODATA-cwg-LegalInterop] Appropriate licenses or waivers for RDA oputput?
    Thanks Harlan and Paul.
    Very helpful. It’s good to hear the latest on rights around data. This was something I was struggling with a few years ago. RDA’s case is rather different, though, as Paul points out.
    We are thinking that the default for contributed content should be CC-By with many authors. RDA isn’t the author or owner of that content necessarily. The larger issue is what we consider the formal, endorsed products of RDA—what we are calling “Recommendations on Data”. These are documents in a very broad sense and may include specifications, taxonomies or ontologies, workflows, schemas, data models, etc. CC-BY might work but I could see it being limiting in a way that is with data. Others want to ensure some level of control. Personally, I want to push towards a norms-based rather than legally based approach. That seems most likely to benefit interoperability, but RDA as a new organization wishing to establish itself and also to attract Organisational members needs to be mindful of other concerns too.
    Paul, I’m glad you and Anita are talking. Anita is on the task force and can report back. If y’all have further thoughts, I urge you to comment on the policy directly (…).
    On Jan 5, 2014, at 7:30 AM, Uhlir, Paul wrote:
    Thanks, Harlan.
    Anita and I also will be conferring tomorrow I believe, about this. The CC-AT 4.0 license is appropriate, in my personal view. For RDA uses, however, RDA can’t just slap on a CC license on material it did not create that is made available through the RDA website. Therefore, the website itself could be CC-AT and the CC-AT could be a default license, but what all the RDA WGs and IGs contribute needs to be specifically marked as well if those groups have a different license (or no license at all and fully copyrighted).
    From: Harlan Onsrud [***@***.***]
    Sent: Saturday, January 04, 2014 6:24 PM
    To: Parsons, Mark
    Cc: Uhlir, Paul; Catherine Doldirina; Eisenstadt, Anita
    Subject: Re: [RDA-CODATA-cwg-LegalInterop] Appropriate licenses or waivers for RDA oputput?
    Did you ever get a response from Paul Uhlir, Catherine Doldrina or Anita Eisenstadt? The four of us have been working for quite some time in rewriting a draft white paper now titled “Mechanisms to Share Data as part of the GEOSS Data-CORE” I anticipate that we will have a version ready within the next month or so to circulate to the rest of the attorneys participating in the Legal Interoperability Sub-Group of the Data Sharing Working Group of GEOSS.
    The issue you raise of which licenses and other instruments to support in open data sharing environments is one we have discussed and debated at length. We still have not resolved this issue in the context of the recommendation we will be making to GEOSS.
    One of our dilemmas has been whether to recommend support of an infrastructure that will allow designation (and thus promote) more than one form of open access instrument. Because we are dealing with governments, we will likely need to support in the infrastructure that government agencies be allowed to designate that data is already in the public domain. That is, use of CCO would be inappropriate for them since no transfer is needed. Further CC Public Domain Mark is probably also inappropriate since that is meant primarily for works in which copyright has expired rather than for datasets that are within the public domain upon creation. Yet some government agencies will still need this capability.
    Our ultimate recommendation may be one in which we recommend to agencies and other geospatial data contributors across the globe the use of a very limited set of open access instruments (e.g. CC Public Domain Mark, CC0, PDDL, CC By 4.0, ODC By 1.0) Alternatively we might make a recommendation that contributors use only a single legal instrument (yet to be determined) but that the GEOSS CORE-data infrastructure should perhaps support the ability to record and search for any of several standard open access instruments affiliated with the registered data. We are still in the midst of these discussions.
    Our group believes that CC BY 4.0 may now address the creative aspects of data sets protected under database legislation protection regimes but we have not yet made an independent assessment of this matter. In the past one has also potentially needed to address the difference between rights in a database versus rights in data. This may or may not be resolved under this or other contemporary solutions.
    Our group is unlikely to recommend the ODC Open Database License (ODbL) ( or the CC-BY-SA license due to their viral provisions for share alike. Open Street Maps (OSM) is now allowing its crowd-sourced contributors to designate their data to go into the “public domain” primarily as a means to assess whether OSM should change its policy due to the expressed desires of their contributors. (That is, would most contributors prefer moving to something like CC0?)
    Some attorneys within our group would prefer to recommend that all scientific and technical data have as few restrictions as possible (e.g. CCO). Others believe the attribution requirement (e.g CC-By 4.0) will be manageable from a practical perspective in near future digital infrastructures and attribution is of such a great value to scientists and agencies that it should be supported. Other recommendations are also being discussed. We will let you know what we decide when we make our recommendation(s).
    Use of a no-derivative works license would mean that one would never be able to incorporate portions of that dataset into your product or service. You must use or incorporate all of the original work or nothing. This is fine for a poem but not for data.
    I hope these comments have been helpful.
    Best regards,
    Harlan Onsrud
    On Thu, Jan 2, 2014 at 3:06 PM, Parsons, Mark
    Hi all,
    Happy new year!
    Just a little reminder that we would welcome yopur input on the draft RDA Outputs and IP policy:
    We are especially interested in your thoughts on CC-BY as the default license.
    On Dec 19, 2013, at 1:22 PM, Parsons, Mark
    Dear RDA Legal Interoperability IG members,
    I write to you as a the chair of an RDA task force developing a proposed policy for RDA Outputs and IP.
    The committee has completed phase one, where we have defined four classes of outputs and their level of RDA “endorsement”.
    See the draft policy at
    Council has reviewed our draft and very much liked the articulation of the 4 types of outputs. Like us, they saw the “RDA Recommendations on Data” as the significant category.
    Now we turn to IP and we could use your help. Council (rather forcefully) asks if we can’t simply use CC-BY as the default for everything? We think that is appropriate for basic web content and are investigating if we can use that given the current rules that govern the contract that provides the web site. It is a more complicated issue for other types of outputs and that’s where we could use your help.
    Recommendations on Data are documents in a loose sense of the word. RDA The may include specifications, taxonomies or ontologies, workflows, schemas, data models, etc. We have had some debate in the task force about whether CC-BY is appropriate for these. On one hand, some favor CCZero with some norms as the most flexible and encouraging of interoperability. Some see a need in some cases to assert more control to avoikd the confusion of competing versions—something like a no-derivative works clause.
    Implementations are services, tools, code, registries, APIs, etc. that demonstrate and make use of RDA DDs and RoDs. We don’t think RDA should formally own these or impose specific licenses, but we would like to make some suggestions and RDA would only promote those implementations that were suitably open.
    Please share your thoughts and expertise. Not all the interested parties will see a reply to this email, so please comment on the policy directly (you need to be logged in)–….
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