A tweet by Owen Stephens prodded me to the New Zealand National Library’s service which provides the national bibliography as MARC/MARCXML dumps (350,000 records) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license. Great!
Obviously this service has been around for a while now but I’ve not heard about it before. As it wasn’t registered on CKAN/the Data hub I created an entry and added it to the Bibliographic Data group.
Using attribution licenses for data
This publication is an interesting case as it uses an attribution license for bibliographic data. Until now, most open bibliographic datasets have been published under a public domain license. So, the question pops up: “Under what conditions may I use a CC-BY licensed dataset?”
The readme.txt accompanying the download file (118 MB!) gives some clarity:
“You do not need to make any attribution to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa if you are copying, distributing or adapting only a small number of individual bibliographic records from the overall Dataset.
If you publish, distribute or otherwise disseminate this work to the public without adapting it, the following attribution to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa should be used:
“Source: National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa and licensed by the Department of Internal Affairs for re-use under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand Licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/nz/).”
If you adapt this work in any way or include it in a wider collection, and publish, distribute or otherwise disseminate that adaptation or collection to the public, the following style of attribution to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa should be used:
“This work uses data sourced from National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa’s Publications New Zealand Metadata Dataset which is licensed by the Department of Internal Affairs for re-use under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/nz/).””
In my opinion, these license requirements set a good precedence licensing bibliographic data with an attribution license, although it is not clear what still passes for “a small number of individual records”. I think it is important and the only legally consistent way that datasets with an attribution or share-alike license must only be attributed at the database level and not on the record level. Other’s who tend to use an attribution license should use a similar wording.
In related news, there’ll be a LODLAM-NZ event on December 1st in Wellington, see http://lod-lam.net/summit/2011/09/08/lodlam-nz/. Converting this dataset to LOD might be a topic…
Update: Tim McNamara has already provided an RDF version of the bibliographic data and reported on his motivations and challenges, see this post.