Read a report on National Moth Week 2017 on the India Biodiversity Portal Blog.

Data sharing: An open access

The intent of the portal is to facilitate the sharing of data and knowledge between various stakeholders. All data on the portal will be shared under the Creative Commons licenses. Creative Commons is not anti-copyrights nor anti-intellectual rights nor anti-commercialism, it is merely a way of getting across your information to a wider public by making the rules of distribution more flexible. It still reserves your moral, intellectual and distribution rights, as it is more of a ‘Some Rights Reserved’ than an ‘All Rights Reserved’ philosophy. You can choose the licence under which you distribute your material and express reservations on the commercial use, modification possibilities and extent, while being duly credited and acknowledged.

Sounds too complicated? Let’s break it down into simpler terms.

As soon as you generate a creative work, you own the rights to it. What the Creative Commons license does is it merely helps you distribute it more easily, under terms and conditions that you choose. You can customize your sharing policies without compromising on the value of your work. You can refine the rules, stretch them to include derivatives of your work, or express the purpose of the work and its possible uses.

The Basics can be summed up as:

  • Attribution (BY) - requires that the author or any other named party is attributed in the form specified in the licence, that the work is not falsely attributed to another author and that the work is not altered so as to prejudice the author’s reputation. The licensor may, in addition, choose to license the work under one or more of the following conditions:
  • Non Commercial (NC) – the work may only be used for non commercial purposes;
  • No Derivatives (ND) – only exact copies of the work can be copied , shared or used; derivative works based on the original work (e.g. adaptations or mash-ups) are not permitted;
  • Share Alike (SA) – users may create and distribute derivative works, but derivative works should only be distributed under licence terms identical to those that apply to the original work (this term ensures that the material remains ‘open’).

These can be modified into variations, based on one or more of the above conditions. Hence one can derive 6 licensing conditions:

The user or person sharing, will be allowed to choose between one of these forms of licenses.

Creative Commons License
For more details see Creative Commons

We value your contributions and would like you to think about these terms before you subscribe to this philosophy. Towards this end we held a stakeholders meeting in Bangalore and discussed this issue. Two points were raised at the meeting.

A clear data policy will have far reaching consequences in the sharing of data and community participation. A trustworthy statement and execution of the data policy would help in gaining the trust of stakeholders and facilitate the sharing of data.

Open access to data is generally helpful, but biodiversity data can be sensitive and we should have mechanisms to handle such data. We need to have a transparent and clearly articulated data sharing and access policy. Contributors should have the option to define data sharing policy.

If you have any further queries on licensing please contact us. Hoping to evolve a data sharing policy together.

Contact team [at] thewesternghats [dot] in