[kwlug-disc] GPL attachment to data files

Khalid Baheyeldin kb at 2bits.com
Thu Nov 12 09:26:47 EST 2009


On Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 8:36 AM, Richard Weait <richard at weait.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 1:50 PM, Insurance Squared Inc.
> <gcooke at insurancesquared.com> wrote:
> > I dug up the gov't site's policy. It's a bit vague, but they basically
> leave
> > it as in the public domain.
> >
> > But I don't think public domain means I can slap GPL on it - it's not my
> > copyright.  But I can distribute it.  So I think I'll jsut to two
> downloads,
> > one for the calculator, one for the data.
>
> "Public domain" means you can do as you please and you get to take
> responsibility for your actions.  You can relicense it, make it
> proprietary, modify it and use it in a way that violates the Toronto
> Workplace Smoking Bylaw.... It's all on you now.
>
> So you CAN slap GPL on it, but GPL is unsuited to data; GPL is a
> software license.
>
> If you'd like to distribute the data you can do so under your own
> license, an established open data license, no license at all, or with
> a note saying, "Hey, It's PD."  I'd lean towards the latter with a
> link to the original source.
>
> If you generate some data of your own and want to Open it, I strongly
> recommend the works of the Open Data Commons [1] particularly the
> PDDL.
>
>
> [1] http;//opendatacommons.org
>
>
I second what Richard said.

We face the same issues when you have "non-code" under the GPL, for
example in a Drupal theme there are graphic files (JPG, PNG, ...etc.)

GPL is for code, and trying to extend it beyond code is problematic.
-- 
Khalid M. Baheyeldin
2bits.com, Inc.
http://2bits.com
Drupal optimization, development, customization and consulting.
Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability. --  Edsger W.Dijkstra
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. --   Leonardo da Vinci
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