[Taxacom] Biodiversity data and ABS

Roderic Page r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Sun Nov 11 14:27:25 CST 2012

Regarding the original question regarding "commercial use of biodiversity data", this seems rather vague. Notions of intellectual property, which seem to underly  "access and benefit sharing" don't always make sense in the context of data (one could indeed argue that "intellectual property" is a toxic notion to be avoided, but that's another story). 

A lot of biodiversity data is made available only under explicitly non-commercial licenses, or is given away freely. Of course, there is a lot of data which is not made available at all, or only under restrictive licenses. For a discussion of some of these issues see http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.150.2189

So, in one sense if data is given away for free then you will struggle to find commercial uses, unless your definition of commercial use extends to things such as consultancy, software development, services, etc. For example, companies such as Vizzuality http://vizzuality.com/ use (for the most part) freely available data (e.g., GBIF, Wikipedia, Flickr) to create projects such as http://protectedplanet.net/ and http://rlat.kew.org/. I would argue that companies like Vizzuality are examples of commercial use of biodiversity data (and the growth of such companies would be a sign of an emerging market for applications of biodiversity data).



On 8 Nov 2012, at 13:05, Fabian Haas wrote:

> Hello,
> I am currently working on a paper on Access and benefit Sharing, GBIF, 
> EoL and others, and Information Sharing. I section will deal with 
> commercial use of biodiversity data.
> Somehow I am unable to locate concrete commercial examples of the use 
> biodiversity data. Most seems uncommercial, at least non-profit or 
> scientific.
> Do you have any ideas? Links, pdfs or key words are welcomed.
> best Fabian
> -- 
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Roderic Page
Professor of Taxonomy
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences
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University of Glasgow
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