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Re: [baseball-databank] BDB License

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  • Sean Forman
    ... I have to agree with Tom here. I think asking people to make open source anything that at all touches the BDB is WAY overstepping our bounds. What I was
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 19, 2005
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      > >
      > > Would the interactive application be considered a
      > > derivative? I
      > > don't think so. But I would sincerely hope that the
      > > spirit of
      > > sharing for the common good is enough to convince
      > > the publisher to
      > > publish the source code of the application under the
      > > GPL.
      > >
      >
      > This is a scary proposition, if I read it a certain
      > way.
      >
      > First of all, data that is public domain cannot even
      > be copyrighted. I don't see how it can be subject to
      > a "use licence". For example, if I obtain data from
      > STATS, I understand I'm subject to their use licence.
      > But, that data is public domain. In effect, I have
      > more restriction on the data than the average person.
      > (Things like pitch type, hit location, etc would not
      > be public domain, so I can see the use licence
      > applying. But, ball-strike counts would be public
      > domain.)
      >
      > Therefore, asking that the source code for a product
      > that uses this data to be donated is bothersome. For
      > example, take the most popular baseball website
      > around: baseball-reference.com . In your statement
      > above, are you suggesting that Sean should consider
      > donating all of his programs to the public, at which
      > point, someone with more resources, say Yahoo Sports,
      > can take over those programs, and do with it as they
      > wish?
      >
      > Regardless of what Michael is or is not suggesting,
      > clear definitions should be created on public data,
      > proprietary data, data design, algorithms, and
      > programs.
      >
      > Tom

      I have to agree with Tom here. I think asking people to make open
      source anything that at all touches the BDB is WAY overstepping our
      bounds. What I was thinking was more the case where someone matches the
      BDB with data on GM's or umpires and provides that data elsewhere. I
      believe they should then have to contribute back the GM or umpire data.
      This may be untenable legally, but I think it should be the goal.

      As for credit, I think a link back to the BDB website with a note on
      where it came from is sufficient. Then on our website we'll credit
      people as best we can.


      --
      Sincerely,
      Sean Forman

      Baseball Stats! http://www.Baseball-Reference.com/
    • westbaystars
      ... That was not my intent. It would be nice if those who wrote logic to use the data were to GPL their applications, but by no means a necessity. A dream of
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 20, 2005
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        To my comment:

        >> Would the interactive application be considered a
        >> derivative? I
        >> don't think so. But I would sincerely hope that the
        >> spirit of
        >> sharing for the common good is enough to convince
        >> the publisher to
        >> publish the source code of the application under the
        >> GPL.

        Tangotiger wrote:

        > This is a scary proposition, if I read it a certain
        > way.
        >
        > First of all, data that is public domain cannot even
        > be copyrighted. I don't see how it can be subject to
        > a "use licence". [...]
        >
        > Therefore, asking that the source code for a product
        > that uses this data to be donated is bothersome.

        That was not my intent. It would be nice if those who wrote logic to
        use the data were to GPL their applications, but by no means a
        necessity. A dream of a utopian world where everyone cooperates and
        helps each other, building off of each others' works, as computer
        science was taught back before "Intellectual Property" became more
        important than functionality, correctness, and usefulness.

        Then Forman-san wrote:

        > What I was thinking was more the case where someone matches the
        > BDB with data on GM's or umpires and provides that data elsewhere. I
        > believe they should then have to contribute back the GM or umpire
        > data.
        > This may be untenable legally, but I think it should be the goal.

        I'm in full agreement. As Tangotiger pointed out, data is not
        copyrightable. But I am under the impression that it can be subject
        to an EULA (End User License Agreement). It's been a trend in the
        entertainment and software industries of late to have the EULA
        restrict use beyond what copyright normally allows. This is a major
        reason why I will not use *any* Microsoft file formats, I don't agree
        with the restrictions that they put on them. For that reason, the
        EULA for the BBDB needs to be the opposite of these trends, i.e.
        enabling end users to build on the data for their needs, not
        restricting people's ability from using and profiting from the BBDB,
        while still insuring the continued evolution and accumulation of data.

        What needs to be done to make the EULA effective? I a click-through
        confirmation before downloading necessary? I don't know. And it
        seems like requiring distributors to have click-through downloads
        would only hinder the spread of the BBDB, which is not what I think
        we want.

        --
        Michael Westbay
        Writer/System Administrator
        http://JapaneseBaseball.com
        Public Key: http://www.japanesebaseball.com/keys/westbaystars.gpgkey
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