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Re: [govtrack] Re: Proposed new terms of data use

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  • Josh Tauberer
    ... Well, look, I wasn t making a statement about APIs in general. I was responding to a response to my statement about contributing to the commons, and I was
    Message 1 of 15 , Oct 15, 2008
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      aronpilhofer wrote:
      > Incidentally, I agree that API's are a rather crappy way of
      > distributing data en toto, but who is arguing this as an either/or?
      > There is significant value in both.

      Well, look, I wasn't making a statement about APIs in general.

      I was responding to a response to my statement about contributing to the
      commons, and I was saying that an API doesn't contribute the data to the
      commons.

      In the case of the Times's FEC API, the data is already available in
      bulk from the FEC. You're providing an additional service to make things
      easier, and I say that is only a good thing. You're also a commercial
      enterprise, with different goals, and I meant to only be addressing the
      strictly nonprofit/transparency world, though I know I didn't say it.

      > On the specific point that started this thread, it might be a good
      > time to gently remind you that this is not your data.

      For all the time I put into it, I think I get a little say in how it is
      used (if you access my server to get it). I have no moral obligation to
      provide the data to everyone. At worst it would be hypocritical to start
      adding restrictions when I talk about openness, which is why I don't
      actually have any.

      And the irony is not past me that if I actually add a restriction,
      someone could fork the project.

      > There are going to be people out there who
      > take, and don't give back.

      But that doesn't mean I shouldn't have an expectation about what they
      *ought* to be doing. The fact that someone isn't contributing data that
      they have back doesn't mean I stop asking.

      --
      - Josh Tauberer
      - GovTrack.us

      http://razor.occams.info

      "Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation! Yields
      falsehood when preceded by its quotation!" Achilles to
      Tortoise (in "Godel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter)
    • aronpilhofer
      ... Fair enough. I move to strike my statement from the record. ... I guess that depends on what restrictions you do decide to slap on it, if any. I m not
      Message 2 of 15 , Oct 15, 2008
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        > Well, look, I wasn't making a statement about APIs in general.

        Fair enough. I move to strike my statement from the record.

        > For all the time I put into it, I think I get a little say in how it >is

        I guess that depends on what restrictions you do decide to slap on it,
        if any. I'm not telling you anything you don't know -- but that's part
        of the deal when you decide to open things up. People take and don't
        play nice. It sucks, but you can't really have it both ways.

        >The fact that someone isn't contributing data >that
        > they have back doesn't mean I stop asking.

        No one said that. But putting some kind of license on the data to
        enforce it, that's another matter.
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