Re: Schema usage and licensing

( URIs are identifiers, and identifiers are seldom
copyrightable, otherwise we would all be in violation linking to any
website, storing phone numbers or writing down someones name.

To be copyrightable, the item must be considered a Creative Work.

(A copyrightable URL could be one that includes content, like a data: URL
with an image, or ?text=some-kind-of-assay....very-long )

So if you just use terms (or in general any URIs) in your markup
and annotations, no attribution is needed and you do not need to worry
about the license. You are even free to use the wrong terms ;)

(Note that trademarks could still apply to identifiers, e.g.  you might not
want to have properties like )

Identifiers and attributes organized into a system / database, such as the
hierarchy of a controlled vocabulary, or ontology *can* be copyrightable
(but this varies by country).

So if you cloned all the relations, such as the listing
subclasses and properties, then to be safe in all countries, you should
include Creative Commons license (e.g.  by URL) and attribution, e.g. in
your file headers.

Copying just a particular relationship is in the grey zone as it might not
be considered a Work, (if you are not reproducing significant parts ofnthe
organised system). However in the EU this could still trigger database
copyright regulations.

If you copy some or all the textual documentation from (beyond a
"fair use" quotation where applicable), then you MUST follow the Creative
Commons license and give attribution and list the license URL. You must
also note any modifications you have done.

Copying the whole JSON-LD @context file should similarly require
attribution (which it should already have?), while copying a few
definitions would not.

I Am Not A Lawyer etc. :)

Look at the Creative Commons FAQ for more details.

As to who should get attribution that depends on the stated copyright
holder. In practice including just Source: is probably
On 10 Feb 2016 15:26, "Richard Wallis" <>

> I am no legal expert but I have had experience of similar discussions in
> another domain.
> I believe that at the level of code (html, RDFa, Microdata, JSON-LD) the
> use of the canonical URIs for terms - e.g.  vocab=“
>”, itemtype=“”,  “@context”: “
>” - is sufficient attribution in the terms of the
> licence.
> If you wanted to print all the terms and their definitions in a
> physical book, it would be different, where there would be the expectation
> of an attribution paragraph on an early page.
> ~Richard.
> Richard Wallis
> Founder, Data Liberate
> Linkedin:
> Twitter: @rjw
> On 10 February 2016 at 14:43, Robert Kost <> wrote:
>> Hi Tati -
>> Concerning #2, in my opinion, one needs to distinguish between the
>> subject matter (i.e., the Schema taxonomy itself) and the
>> material to which it is applied (your website).  The CC license relates to
>> the “the Work,” which is defined as:
>> "Work" means the copyrightable work of authorship offered under the terms
>> of this License.
>> So, you don’t bring your website into the orbit of the Work (
>> simply by virtue of using it.  If you were to publish your own extensions
>> that incorporate or derive from Schema, it might fall under this license.
>> Your item #1 is potentially more troubling.  The CC site summarizes this
>> requirement:
>> If supplied, you must provide the name of the creator and attribution
>> parties, a copyright notice, a license notice, a disclaimer notice, and a
>>  link to the material.
>> Is this “supplied” at  Interesting that “” and its
>> uses are self-referential URIs.
>> On 2/8/16, 5:31 AM, "Tati Chevron" <> wrote:
>> >Hi,
>> >
>> >Could somebody clarify exactly how the licensing agreement described at
>> > is supposed to apply to websites making use of this standard?
>> >
>> >The terms of service note that, [the rights are],
>> >"...licensed to third parties under the Creative Commons
>> >Attribution-ShareAlike License (version 3.0)".
>> >
>> >I assume that the intent is to allow unrestricted usage of valid schema
>> >markup, but protect the published standard.
>> >
>> >However, my understanding is that a strict interpretation of this
>> >licensing requirement would:
>> >
>> >1. Require any website making use of the schema vocabulary to include an
>> >attribution to
>> >
>> >2. Cause the content of any website making use of the published schema
>> >vocabulary to fall under the same license.
>> >
>> >So far, despite much interest in including such semantic markup in all
>> >of my projects, I've completely avoided the standard described at
>> > for these reasons.
>> >
>> >Is this an open, un-encumbered standard or should I develop my own?
>> >
>> >Thanks.
>> >
>> >--
>> >Tati Chevron.
>> >
>> >
>> >

Received on Thursday, 11 February 2016 16:31:21 UTC