[Taxacom] Completion of 'The Plant List'

Paul van Rijckevorsel dipteryx at freeler.nl
Thu Dec 30 08:01:05 CST 2010

From: "Roderic Page" <r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk>
Sent: Thursday, December 30, 2010 2:33 PM

> Dear Paul,
> On 30 Dec 2010, at 12:45, Paul van Rijckevorsel wrote:
>> From: "Roderic Page" <r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk>
>> Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2010 8:26 PM
>>> Nice data set, shame about the license. By using a Creative Commons  CC
>>> BY-NC-ND license, Kew and MOBOT have effectively killed the
>>> possibility of anybody building upon this data (see my blog post
>>> http://iphylo.blogspot.com/2010/12/plant-list-nice-data-shame-it-not-open.html
>> ***
>> I do not see why this should not be a perfectly respectable choice.
>> Of course, it always is nice if everything you want is offered free  to 
>> you, whenever you want it, but it is shortsighted to expect
>>  this to happen, or to ignore the risks.
>> * * *

> People making data available are, of course, free to choose whatever 
> license they see fit (although the typical Creative Commons licenses 
> don't really fit, see 
> http://bibwild.wordpress.com/2008/11/24/creative-commons-is-not-appropriate-for-data ) 
> . I suspect that if someone dug deep into the sources of the data, 
> funding, etc., it would be hard to defend a  Creative Commons license  for 
> this list.
> But , leaving that aside, why expressly prevent people building on  your 
> work?

I do not see that they have done that. They have just prevented
just anybody from doing whatever they liked with their work,
which may well be a wise precaution.
* * *

>> Every license has its disadvantages; Wikipedia has a very free  license, 
>> and look how badly that holds that project back ...
>>* **
> In what way does Wikipedia's licensing hold it back?

Either you have not used Wikipedia much or you are very
unobservant? Even the casual user will have noted that many
pages with topics that depend on a good photograph or
illustration do not have this photograph or illustration (or
a very poor one), because those who hold the rights to such
material have (wisely) decided not to donate their material
to all comers, who can then do whatever they like with it.

And obviously, anybody who is reasonably knowledgeable
and reasonably sane will take note of the license and carefully
consider just how much (if any) of his knowledge he will enter
into Wikipedia. It is a regular occurrence to see somebody
recoil from Wikipedia, after having digested the license.
Of course there is not necessarily a shortage of persons who
are not obviously reasonably knowledgeable and/or sane
and who embark on entering everything they think they know
(and more!) into Wikipedia ...


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