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Re: There's No Money in Linked Data

From: Pascal Hitzler <pascal.hitzler@wright.edu>
Date: Sat, 1 Jun 2013 12:58:06 -0400
Message-ID: <51AA281E.3030907@wright.edu>
To: Sören Auer <auer@informatik.uni-leipzig.de>
CC: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, SW-forum Web <semantic-web@w3.org>
Great we're discussing this.

Concerning the definition given on the website you indicate:

"A piece of data or content is open if anyone is free to use, reuse, and 
redistribute it — subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute 
and/or share-alike."

- let me play devil's advocate here and suggest an alternative 
definition, just to make a point:

"A piece of data or content is open if anyone is free to use, reuse, and 
redistribute it — subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute 
and/or share-alike, or to paying suitable royalties to the data creator 
or provider."

But more seriously - you probably see the point: A phrasing like

"A piece of data or content is open if anyone is free to use, reuse, and 
redistribute it — subject to no restrictions"

would be a more serious alternative. As soon as you make restrictions, 
things get tricky - and this is exactly one of the points in the paper 
we circulated. Attribution or share-alike can already be showstoppers, 
and for some context can render LOD/LD *non-reusable* - in which case 
the term "open" appears to be rather misleading.

So it appears that things are a bit more complicated. (And, of course, 
this does not only apply to data.)

Best Regards,


On 6/1/2013 12:47 PM, Sören Auer wrote:
> Am 01.06.2013 16:42, schrieb Pascal Hitzler:
>> Concerning the "Open" issue:
>> I'm guilty of not always being clear about the destinction between LD
>> and LOD. In fact I believe many people are not clear about it. We should
>> ask why they are not. And in fact our little write-up exposes one
>> probably reason: The notion simply is rather unclear. "Linked Open Data
>> must have an open licence" is - in the light of the analysis in the
>> paper - almost meaningless, as "openness" of licences is not a boolean.
>> There are many shades to it, and most of these shades do not allow
>> readily for commercialization.
> Pascal, I somewhat disagree with that statement: there is (and should
> be) a clear (boolean) definition what open means: http://opendefinition.org/
> The Open Definition precisely defines the requirements for a license in
> order to be called open. Allowing remixing and republishing,
> availability of data in bulk and non-discriminatory licensing allowing
> commercial reuse are core requirements of the open definition.
> Open Data is not cardinally different from other "open" domains, e.g.
> open source software and for open source software there exists also a
> clear definition (overseen by OSI), which is meanwhile widely enforced.
> I'm a big fan of both -- Linked Data as a data integration paradigm
> within and between organizations AND Linked Open Data as a way to share
> data and knowledge openly on the Web. With the Open Definition we have a
> clear way to distinguish between the two.
> Best,
> Sören
> PS: A few days I attended a talk by a German lawyer about data licensing
> and he said that if you publish your data on the Web without access
> control, it is (at least in Germany) not secured by any IPR and everyone
> can (without asking the publisher) use the data, republish it and do
> whatever with it as he pleases. If this is really true, at least for all
> Germans all data published as Linked Data on the Web without any license
> would be Open Data too ;-)
>> On 5/23/2013 10:09 AM, Tim Berners-Lee wrote:
>>> (not sure why this, which I wrote ages ago, is sitting again
>>> in a window on my computer. Apologies if it was already sent before!).
>>> Short version: Please change LD to LOD throughout.
>>> A little while ago,  when we had made the 5* linked data  mug,
>>> http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/diagrams/lod/480759174v0_350x350_Back.jpg
>>> I got a valid objection to it from the people doing
>>> for example enterprise linked data that their client's
>>> data was generally extremely confidential and no way
>>> would it be open, and the 5 star principle were really
>>> valuable for interoperability, but the clients were scared
>>> off by the fact that they could not even get one star without being open.
>>> So that led to a big change, and more careful wording
>>> and a (then) new mug.
>>> http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/diagrams/lod/597992118v2_350x350_Back.jpg
>>>    The new mug has in black, the Linked Data story, and in green,
>>> stamped on
>>> "OPEN"  to make the "Linked Data" become "Linked Open Data",
>>> and also in green "Open Licence" added to the requirements for the
>>> first star.
>>> So the mug works two ways.
>>> Without the green, it is about Linked Data (LD).
>>>    If you include the green (e.g. wearing rose-coloured spectacles)
>>> it becomes a recipe for Linked Open Data (LOD).
>>> To have even 1 star, Linked Open Data must have an open licence.
>>> other wise it is not Linked Open Data at all.
>>> Meanwhile, 5* linked data (like my financial data
>>> for my taxes) can be completely private.
>>> The ability to discuss the different star levels of
>>> Linked Data is important too.
>>> This distinction has been really important
>>> to a lot of people's understanding and to the
>>> businesses in the space.
>>> So when your article is ONLY about the openness,
>>> about the need for linked Open data to be open,
>>> it is a big problem that you use the wrong term!
>>> There is lots of money in Enterprise Application Integration
>>> which is not what you are doing.
>>> I would ask you to update the paper.
>>> I strongly suggest you update the PDFs you have in place with
>>> a back-link to the original.
>>> Please edit the paper and basically put "Linked Open Data" and  LOD
>>> wherever you are
>>> talking about it, not "Linked Data" and LD.
>>> Because the points that you make are generally important
>>> and interesting and I'd like to be able to point to the paper.
>>> I have other comments about the actual content, but
>>> this is more important.
>>> The title... must be something more appropriate
>>> "Commercial use of Linked Open Data stymied by Licence Issues"
>>> "LOD re-use plagued by lack of suitable licence"
>>> "Viral or missing licenses hamper LOD uptake"
>>> ... or something....
>>> Thanking you in advance.
>>> Tim
>>> On 2013-05 -17, at 22:13, Pascal Hitzler wrote:
>>>> We just finished a piece indicating serious legal issues regarding
>>>> the commercialization of Linked Data - this may be of general
>>>> interest, hence the post. We hope to stimulate discussions on this
>>>> issue (hence the provokative title).
>>>> Available from
>>>> http://knoesis.wright.edu/faculty/pascal/pub/nomoneylod.pdf
>>>> Abstract.
>>>> Linked Data (LD) has been an active research area for more than 6
>>>> years and many aspects about publishing, retrieving, linking, and
>>>> cleaning Linked Data have been investigated. There seems to be a
>>>> broad and general agreement that in principle LD datasets can be very
>>>> useful for solving a wide variety of problems ranging from practical
>>>> industrial analytics to highly specific research problems. Having
>>>> these notions in mind, we started exploring the use of notable LD
>>>> datasets such as DBpedia, Freebase, Geonames and others for a
>>>> commercial application. However, it turns out that using these
>>>> datasets in realistic settings is not always easy. Surprisingly, in
>>>> many cases the underlying issues are not technical but legal barriers
>>>> erected by the LD data publishers. In this paper we argue that these
>>>> barriers are often not justified, detrimental to both data publishers
>>>> and users, and are often built without much consideration of their
>>>> consequences.
>>>> Authors:
>>>> Prateek Jain, Pascal Hitzler, Krzysztof Janowicz, Chitra Venkatramani
>>>> --
>>>> Prof. Dr. Pascal Hitzler
>>>> Kno.e.sis Center, Wright State University, Dayton, OH
>>>> pascal@pascal-hitzler.de   http://www.knoesis.org/pascal/
>>>> Semantic Web Textbook: http://www.semantic-web-book.org
>>>> Semantic Web Journal: http://www.semantic-web-journal.net

Prof. Dr. Pascal Hitzler
Kno.e.sis Center, Wright State University, Dayton, OH
pascal@pascal-hitzler.de   http://pascal-hitzler.de/
Semantic Web Textbook: http://www.semantic-web-book.org/
Semantic Web Journal: http://www.semantic-web-journal.net/
Received on Saturday, 1 June 2013 16:58:29 UTC

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