Proposed additional clause on rights covered in PDDL

December 19, 2007 in Legal, PDDL

There has been some discussion on a blog concerning the definition of a database used in the Public Domain Dedication & Licence and how this is applied. While the discussion is ongoing, I do want to mention the possibility of adding in a clause to clarify the types of rights involved in databases.

Proposed clause (new 2.2, current 2.2 shifted to 2.3)

2.2 Legal rights covered. This Licence covers the legal rights in the Database, including:

    a. Database Rights. Database Rights only extend to the extraction and re-utilisation of the whole or a substantial part of the Data. Database Rights can apply even when there is no copyright over the Database. Database Rights can also apply when the Data is selected and arranged in a way that would not infringe applicable copyright.
    b. Copyright. Any copyright or neighbouring rights in the Database. The copyright licensed includes any individual elements of the Database, but does not cover the copyright over the Data independent of this Database.Copyright law varies between jurisdictions, but is likely to cover: the Database model or schema, which is the structure, arrangement, and organisation of the Database, and can also include the Database tables and table indexes; the data entry and output sheets; and the Field names of Data stored in the Database.


This clause is taken from the Open Database Licence (ODL or ODBL) which was a result of our first investigation to licensing open data. It was included in that draft to make clear what the rights were being licensed and what was covered by the ODL. I think that it could work well in the Public Domain Dedication & Licence since the PDDL does after all have a back up licence clause and it will help people understand the interaction of IP rights and databases.

Would this make a good addition? Since it only further explains the document, I think that it could be a beneficial and uncontroversial addition.

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