Open Access Data protocol

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The Open Access Data protocol is an incremental approach to avoid having to get a uniform science license widely accepted.

The explanation of the problems with using existing licenses is quite specific:

  • "Any solution based on rights will result in categorization errors: the application of obligations based on copyright in situations where it is not necessary (for example, a share-alike license on the copyrightable elements may be falsely assumed to operate on the factual contents of a database). In the reverse, a user might assume that the “Facts Are Free” status of the non-copyrightable elements extends to the entire database and inadvertently infringe."
  • "Many users choose to apply common-use licenses such as the GPL and CC in order to declare their intent: thus, a user might choose to apply a “copyleft” term to the copyrightable elements of a database, in hopes that those elements result in additional open access database elements coming online. But a user would be able to extract the entire contents (to the extent those contents are uncopyrightable factual content) and republish those contents without observing the copyleft or share-alike terms. The data provider, based on our research, is likely to feel “tricked” by this outcome. That is not a desired result. For this reason, the use of such licenses fails to provide a high degree of of ease of use and legal certainty."
  • "if attribution is required as part of a license approach. In a world of database integration and federation, attribution can easily cascade into a burden for scientists if a category error is made. Would a scientist need to attribute 40,000 data depositors in the event of a query across 40,000 data sets? How does this relate to the evolved norms of citation within a discipline, and does the attribution requirement indeed conflict with accepted norms in some disciplines? Indeed, failing to give attribution to all 40,000 sources could be the basis for a copyright infringement suit at worst, and at best, imposes a significant transaction cost on the scientist using the data. Therefore, a legal obligation to give attribution violates the principle of low transaction costs."