On 9 September 2016 at 18:19, Luis Villa <l...@lu.is> wrote:
> Can you elaborate on the second point, Simon? Are you referring to the
> "third party rights the Information Provider is not authorised to license"
> language? If so, I'm afraid they've merely made explicit what is implicit in
> all licenses - if there is third party material in a work that the open
> licensor isn't authorized to license, then that material isn't licensed to
> you, regardless of what the license says.

Yes, but without that clause, the licensor is implicitly asserting
that they do have the necessary rights to offer the licence, and if
there did turn out to be problems later, the licensee would probably
have some come-back on them. With the clause, it effectively absolves
the licensor of any responsibility for making sure that the licence is
valid for the licencee's use.

There was a case in the UK where (IIRC) house price data was offered
under the UK Open Government Licence (OGL). It turned out later that
the addresses in it had been checked/normalised using a proprietary
address database, and the licensor wasn't able to re-licence them.
According to the OGL, it is still fine to offer the whole dataset
under that licence, and there doesn't seem to be any obligation on the
licensor to point out that some parts of the dataset cannot actually
be re-used under the stated licence.

Normally it's fine as the stuff being licensed is obviously the
licensor's data. But sometimes there are proprietary databases that
get mixed in, so you have to be a bit careful. (Addresses and any GIS
data are particular issues in the UK.) I briefly tried to convince the
UK OGL's authors of the problem with this clause (suggesting they
should add an obligation on the licensor to point out any
un-licensable parts) but I didn't manage to get very far.


Robert Whittaker

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