Should WMUK respond to the Public Data Corporation consultation?

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Should WMUK respond to the Public Data Corporation consultation?

Tom Morris-5
Hi all,

The government have a consultation going on at the moment about the
future of the Public Data Corporation. The PDC is responsible for
commercially valuable public data including Ordnance Survey, Land
Registry and Met Office data. While the government is releasing a lot
of data under the Open Government License (which is compatible with
Wikimedia's content as it basically boils down to government-branded
CC BY). In fact, we have added OGL photos to Commons and some of them
are now in use on enwiki.

But the data controlled by the PDC could potentially be of use to
Wikimedians: the Ordnance Survey and Met Office data could be used to
produce better, more detailed maps of Britain and those images can be
reused by projects like Wikipedia (to illustrate place names),
Wikinews (for original research stories), Commons,
Wikibooks/Wikiversity (for geography textbooks/tutorials etc.).

Being able to merge government-produced data that we have funded the
creation of (through taxation) with volunteer produced content
(through Wikimedia, Open Street Map, free and open source software)
could dramatically help our mission of supporting the spread of free
and open knowledge. The Dutch government recently agreed to release a
lot of their geographical information for free, and it'd be great if
the UK could too.

Is there any interest in putting together a response to the
government's consultation on the Public Data Corporation basically
saying we're firmly in favour of the government releasing as much as
they possibly can under free licenses. We could do this either as
Wikimedia UK or, if that isn't kosher with the charity application, as
"Wikimedians in the UK" or something. ;-)

Yours,

--
Tom Morris
<http://tommorris.org/>

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Re: Should WMUK respond to the Public Data Corporation consultation?

Richard Symonds-2
A good idea, in principle.

Small point of order though: I was of the understanding that OGL is not quite compatible with CC-BY - AFAIK, it's something to do with database rights. I'm not an expert on this, though, and am happy to be corrected.

Richard Symonds

On 6 Oct 2011, at 15:16, Tom Morris <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> The government have a consultation going on at the moment about the
> future of the Public Data Corporation. The PDC is responsible for
> commercially valuable public data including Ordnance Survey, Land
> Registry and Met Office data. While the government is releasing a lot
> of data under the Open Government License (which is compatible with
> Wikimedia's content as it basically boils down to government-branded
> CC BY). In fact, we have added OGL photos to Commons and some of them
> are now in use on enwiki.
>
> But the data controlled by the PDC could potentially be of use to
> Wikimedians: the Ordnance Survey and Met Office data could be used to
> produce better, more detailed maps of Britain and those images can be
> reused by projects like Wikipedia (to illustrate place names),
> Wikinews (for original research stories), Commons,
> Wikibooks/Wikiversity (for geography textbooks/tutorials etc.).
>
> Being able to merge government-produced data that we have funded the
> creation of (through taxation) with volunteer produced content
> (through Wikimedia, Open Street Map, free and open source software)
> could dramatically help our mission of supporting the spread of free
> and open knowledge. The Dutch government recently agreed to release a
> lot of their geographical information for free, and it'd be great if
> the UK could too.
>
> Is there any interest in putting together a response to the
> government's consultation on the Public Data Corporation basically
> saying we're firmly in favour of the government releasing as much as
> they possibly can under free licenses. We could do this either as
> Wikimedia UK or, if that isn't kosher with the charity application, as
> "Wikimedians in the UK" or something. ;-)
>
> Yours,
>
> --
> Tom Morris
> <http://tommorris.org/>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia UK mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://mail.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediauk-l
> WMUK: http://uk.wikimedia.org

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Re: Should WMUK respond to the Public Data Corporation consultation?

Tom Morris-5
On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 15:31, Richard Symonds <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Small point of order though: I was of the understanding that OGL is not quite compatible with CC-BY - AFAIK, it's something to do with database rights. I'm not an expert on this, though, and am happy to be corrected.
>

I'm not sure of the details, given that the things we have been using
on Wikimedia Commons have been photographs and there aren't really
database rights issues to consider...

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Tom Morris
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Re: Should WMUK respond to the Public Data Corporation consultation?

Fae-6
Tom,

I see no problem with WMUK responding, as a charity we can engage in
these areas of government policy development as they affect our open
knowledge mission directly.

Perhaps (if we can squeeze it in to the day) this would be a good
topic to encourage discussion on at the next London wikimeet, or at
least canvass for interested names to help with discussing and writing
up a response?

Cheers,
Fae
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Re: Should WMUK respond to the Public Data Corporation consultation?

brian.mcneil-2
In reply to this post by Tom Morris-5
On Thu, 2011-10-06 at 15:16 +0100, Tom Morris wrote:

> Being able to merge government-produced data that we have funded the
> creation of (through taxation) with volunteer produced content
> (through Wikimedia, Open Street Map, free and open source software)
> could dramatically help our mission of supporting the spread of free
> and open knowledge. The Dutch government recently agreed to release a
> lot of their geographical information for free, and it'd be great if
> the UK could too.
>
> Is there any interest in putting together a response to the
> government's consultation on the Public Data Corporation basically
> saying we're firmly in favour of the government releasing as much as
> they possibly can under free licenses. We could do this either as
> Wikimedia UK or, if that isn't kosher with the charity application, as
> "Wikimedians in the UK" or something. ;-)

Tom,

I tend to agree that 'something' should be done and/or said.

Where I think a point should be made in relation to some of the data
where a high return can be made from taxpayer investment is that they
should *not* lock it up for decades and decades.

I'd give Ordinance Survey as an example. As they re-survey areas to add
in new developments, they should be laying down the timeline/route to
that data being freely-licensed, and ultimately entering the public
domain.

Licensing new map data to commercial interests will only generate income
over a period of probably no more than a decade - likely less. I'd argue
that after that period the full, highly detailed, data should be CC-BY
with an "enters the public domain in X years" clause that can't be
dicked with every time Steamboat Willie is threatened with big-eared
legal Chinese knock-offs.



Brian McNeil.
--
http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Brian_McNeil - Accredited Reporter.
Facts don't cease to be facts, but news ceases to be news.


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Re: Should WMUK respond to the Public Data Corporation consultation?

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Richard Symonds-2
On 06/10/2011, Richard Symonds <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Small point of order though: I was of the understanding that OGL is not
> quite compatible with CC-BY - AFAIK, it's something to do with database
> rights. I'm not an expert on this, though, and am happy to be corrected.


AIUI, CC-by was the preferred option, but the wording was not
considered sufficiently legally robust in the UK for government use -
hence OGL. It's certainly *intended* to be effectively CC-by.


- d.

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Re: Should WMUK respond to the Public Data Corporation consultation?

James Forrester-5
In reply to this post by Richard Symonds-2
On 6 October 2011 07:31, Richard Symonds <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Small point of order though: I was of the understanding that OGL is not quite
> compatible with CC-BY - AFAIK, it's something to do with database rights. I'm
> not an expert on this, though, and am happy to be corrected.

IANAL, but I did work with the ones that came up with OGL and implemented it.

OGL is essentially CC-BY with additionally-released database rights;
this means that it's what CC-BY would have been had it been
implemented in the EU, rather than the US. As I understand it, an OGL
item (be it a database, an image, or otherwise) can be used as if it
were CC-BY and combined with CC-BY (or more stringent, e.g. CC-BY-SA)
items, which is Wikimedia's use case. There are no problems in using
OGL works within the Wikimedia family, or taking such works and
re-using them commercially - indeed, these were two of the core use
cases we were trying to encourage.

However, I believe that it is possible to construct some situations
where CC-BY content cannot be merged into an OGL item (something about
a database created by an EU individual which they release under CC-BY
but do not waive their Database Right) - but this is outside of the
Wikimedia family's use case, and I believe should anyway be dealt with
by CC-4.0 which looks to include the Database and Moral Rights.

Hope this helps.

Yours,
--
James D. Forrester
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[[Wikipedia:User:Jdforrester|James F.]]

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