Data and CC licenses: I’m confused

I’ve been seeing a number of discussions of the most appropriate Creative Commons license to use when putting data online…with CC0 (that is, explicit assignment to the public domain) seeming to be the favorite.

And I’m confused.

At least in the United States, I’ve always been led to believe, data is not copyrightable.

I know that facts are not copyrightable, just as ideas are not copyrightable. Only creative expressions are copyrightable.

Data is facts.

So why would you need to assign a Creative Commons license–the only function of which is to loosen restrictions on copyright you’re presumed to hold–for something that’s not copyrightable?

One could even argue that assigning a CC license to data is copyfraud, as it carries the implicit notice that what it’s assigned to is indeed subject to copyright.

Yes, I know, the laws are different in different countries. But, to the best of my knowledge, CC licenses are country-specific, partly for that reason. Is CC0 universal? Can it be?

What am I missing?

Is CC0 an attempt to waive (conceivable) copyright in the arrangement of data within a database? (Supposedly, if that arrangement is in itself creative, it could be subject to copyright.)

Am I missing something else?

Just a thought…

Comments are closed.


This blog is protected by dr Dave\\\\\\\'s Spam Karma 2: 103145 Spams eaten and counting...