[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
> [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.
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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