On Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 2:57 PM, Denny Vrandečić <
There is some confusion in this thread.
Thank you for trying to dispel the confusion. Unfortunately I think you
confused, at least about what some of our concerns are.
In a few jurisdictions there are sui generis database
rights. These cover
complete databases - but they do not cover their individual data items.
There are licenses built on top of these database rights, and ODBL is the
one that is used by OSM.
These "few jurisdictions" include many (perhaps all?) EU countries. I
gather Wikidata's phase 2 is starting with the Hungarian Wikipedia.
Databases are protected by database rights under Hungarian law, so we need
to be clear about their implications for Wikidata by the time phase 2
Unfortunately, CC-BY-SA and ODBL are not compatible.
You can not take
content licensed under one license and republish it under the other
license. Thus follows that using ODBL for Wikidata does not relieve us from
*any* of the possible legal issues that are mentioned here due to Wikidata
using CC0 as a license.
I think we are talking about different legal issues. My main concern is
about external databases, with rights held by other organisations, that we
wish to host on Wikidata (in whole or in substantial part).
See my earlier post (
for an example, based on the data in
infoboxes for various county articles listed within. This data is licensed
by the UK government under the Open Government License (OGL,
I believe UK editors would be breaking their country's law if they uploaded
a significant portion of this database to Wikidata without following the
terms of the OGL. These include giving credit and linking to the license
where possible. They could probably do this in an adhoc fashion through the
reference field, but it would be much better to have proper support for
license tracking built in.
Having different licenses for different data items in
Wikidata, as was
suggested here, is not possible, as single data items are not licensable.
My suggestion was that we keep track of licenses for different databases
held in Wikidata, not for each individual item.
I agree that item licensing is an inappropriate concept. Storing licensing
info for databases at item level would seem possible as a fallback,
however, if Wikidata has no direct support for databases.
If Wikidata was a collection of databases, like e.g.
OKFN's DataHub, then
it would make sense to provide for different licenses for each of these
databases. But Wikidata does not have any notion of different databases.
You cannot take a database and simply upload it to Wikidata.
Wikidata can certainly be thought of as a collection of databases (or parts
of databases), regardless of whether Wikidata itself distinguishes between
I've only played around a little with Wikidata, and I'll take your word for
it that simple uploads of databases are impossible. But based on what
Wikidata promises to do, it must still be possible to upload them somehow.
Choosing CC0 now allows us to later switch to
CC-BY-SA4 if we choose so,
which actually does take care of database rights, unlike previous versions.
Choosing ODBL would not allow us to do so.
Choosing CC0, and only CC0, is fine IMO for the interwiki links dealt with
in phase 1. But I believe it is not adequate for phases 2 and 3.
These phases will deal with data that in many cases has been sourced from
external databases. In some jurisdictions, these are legally protected and
any licensing conditions will have legal force on editors living there.
I hope that clarifies the discussion a bit. It is a
murky legal area,
which has not been much tested yet in courts, so there are some
Yes, there is some legal uncertainty, particularly over which law applies
when data crosses borders. But I do not see this as a good reason to ignore
the legalities either.
On Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 2:59 PM, Denny Vrandečić <
2012/11/30 Avenue <avenue42(a)gmail.com>
Yes, but in some jurisdictions the licenses are
the only things allowing
lawful use of the data (at least in sizeable portions). I'm concerned that
we'd put some users, and maybe entire projects, at unnecessary legal risk
if we ignore this.
You make it sound like we do not have a license in Wikidata. We do have a
license, and this license allows the free reuse fo the data by any user or
project without them running any legal risks.
Yes, we have a license, and I agree this should present no legal problems
for newly created databases. My concern is about what it means for
preexisting, externally created databases. Claiming that a OGL'd database
(say) becomes CC0 when imported into Wikidata seems risky to me. But IANAL,
so take my opinions with a grain of salt.