Forum: Should We Release Database Dumps Of All Questions On Biostar?
9
gravatar for Istvan Albert
8.9 years ago by
Istvan Albert ♦♦ 81k
University Park, USA
Istvan Albert ♦♦ 81k wrote:

Somewhat self-referential and perhaps better suited for the newsgroup but that won't reach the targeted audience. Which of the following would you prefer:

  1. All content of BioStar distributed with a Creative Commons license.
  2. All content of BioStar distributed between the moderators to ensure continuity.
  3. All content of BioStar maintained by the main administrator (current state)

If no obvious consensus emerges your votes might be weighted by your log10 scaled reputation :-) ...

biostar forum • 2.4k views
ADD COMMENTlink modified 18 months ago by Pierre Lindenbaum123k • written 8.9 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 81k
6

The problem is that you don't own the BioStar content, those who post the questions and answers hold the copyright, and they are the only ones who can attach a license to their content. This is why Wikipedia has a big fat warning, and StackOverflow at least a CC-Wiki button. Biostar has neither, and by now it might be too late to convert everything to another (or any, for that matter) license. (IANAL, but have seen license switch debates for Wikipedia and OpenStreetMap.)

ADD REPLYlink written 8.9 years ago by Michael Kuhn5.0k
3

If copyright of existing Q&As is an issue, it might help to stop it getting any worse by updating the user agreement on BioStar so that any new questions/answers fall under CC. Presumably this could be done now, instead of waiting for the new-and-improved-BioStar. To address the existing questions, these could always be flagged on a new system as being copyright-held-by-posters exceptions.

ADD REPLYlink written 8.9 years ago by Bio_X2Y3.7k
1

^^ Answered by your comment on Daniel Swan's post, in respect to the purpose of distribution!

ADD REPLYlink written 8.9 years ago by Steve Moss2.3k
1

@Istavan Michael raises a very valid point. Legally, each person holds copyright over the content that they created. Since nothing else was stated at the time of the posting, the current status is "All Rights Reserved". Option 1 would in my view be highly desirable; however, it would require that someone gets in contact with every contributor to BioStar and obtains their permission to redistribute their content under a new license. Any content from people who didn't give their consent - possibly because you could not reach them - would have to be removed.

ADD REPLYlink written 8.9 years ago by Lars Juhl Jensen11k
1

Perhaps we can have users post a comment in their profile stating if their prior content can be licensed under CC, e.g. "all questions, comments and responses I have provided prior to 1 Dec 2010 are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License"

ADD REPLYlink written 8.9 years ago by Casey Bergman18k

Is the BioStar backend MySQL? I assume the dumps would therefore be simple MySQL dumps! Useful for distributed backups, but not sure how the information would be useful to any one individual?

ADD REPLYlink written 8.9 years ago by Steve Moss2.3k

I support option 1 if it is possible.

ADD REPLYlink written 8.9 years ago by Giovanni M Dall'Olio26k

@Michael It is never too late. We can always remove contributions.

ADD REPLYlink written 8.9 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 81k

@Lars, true, and we would contact people. In practice things tend to work out well, those that contribute a lot answer their emails ;-)

ADD REPLYlink written 8.9 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 81k

@Istvan, please also make it clear that using the license is not a copyright transfer, but instead the users agree to release their content as cc-by-sa.

ADD REPLYlink written 8.9 years ago by Michael Schubert6.9k

A note about the CC licensing has been added to the 'Ask Question' page.

ADD REPLYlink written 8.9 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 81k

@Istvan, the note about the change in policy is great for future questions, but how can we efficiently apply CC licensing to past content? Your proposed email solution doesn't provide a public record that users have authorized their content. My suggestion about adding a note to our profiles was aimed at providing a public record of our consent for past content.

ADD REPLYlink written 8.9 years ago by Casey Bergman18k

@Casey, there is no need for a public record. Adding the information to one's profile is a bad idea because there is no easy way to track that information.

ADD REPLYlink written 8.9 years ago by Michael Schubert6.9k

@Istvan, the faq (point "Terms of use" or something similar) is probably a better place to put this information because (1) this would be the logical place to look and (2) it is not shown when you answer a question. But please don't do a legal overkill by putting it everywhere ;-)

ADD REPLYlink written 8.9 years ago by Michael Schubert6.9k

@Michael, there is indeed a need for a public record of people's choice about their content since BioStar did not start under a CC license, and there is substantial back content that is not/will not be covered by Istvan's recent change to include a CC license disclaimer to future content (see giovanni's post below). What is your solution for how this issue can be dealt with? How can we demonstrate that users agree to having their back-content available under a CC license?

ADD REPLYlink written 8.9 years ago by Casey Bergman18k

Added information to FAQ, Main Page and Question prompt. We'll sort out the issue of the previous content license in some way that is minimally annoying and intrusive. In the end it is the spirit of the license that needs to be followed. For example I would consider everyone above suggesting the CC option as automatically opting in for their past contributions as well.

ADD REPLYlink written 8.9 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 81k

@Casey, I do understand the issue, the emphasis was on the word public and not on record (sorry to spam here, can I write messages to users somehow?). Profile information can be added and removed at will by users, the stackexchange platform does not keep track of that. Thus I could add the line, remove it afterwards, and noone would know whether I had agreed or not. If Istvan sent out a mail asking each user to opt-in, him keeping the answers would be sufficient.

ADD REPLYlink written 8.9 years ago by Michael Schubert6.9k

Was there ever a consensus reached about licensing content? How about licensing "meta" content such as tags?

ADD REPLYlink written 3.0 years ago by Matt Shirley9.1k
11
gravatar for Daniel Swan
8.9 years ago by
Daniel Swan13k
Aberdeen, UK
Daniel Swan13k wrote:

I think we'd need to think about which CC licence with option 1.

The content is public, I see no reason for it not to be distributed publicly. Maybe it could be released on BioTorrents? with an agreement that some people would keep seeding 'releases'.

I'm assuming this is to do with continuity should something happen to the site, rather than anything else!

ADD COMMENTlink written 8.9 years ago by Daniel Swan13k
3

Drop the NC clause. That will make it impossible for someone to maintain a site with this data in many very reasonable ways, like the current one, which has advertisement and clearly is commercial.

ADD REPLYlink written 8.9 years ago by Egon Willighagen5.2k
1

Haha, don't need an explanation of 'bus factor' nearly used it myself in the post but didn't know how widespread usage was :) To answer my own CC point, I would favour a non-commercial, share alike CC licence a la http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

ADD REPLYlink modified 22 days ago by RamRS24k • written 8.9 years ago by Daniel Swan13k
1

I favour this licence too.

ADD REPLYlink written 8.9 years ago by Neilfws48k
1

I would also vote against the non-commercial clause. It may seem tempting, but it can come back and haunt you in many surprising ways. Personally, I would recommend a plain CC-BY license without any restrictions.

ADD REPLYlink written 8.9 years ago by Lars Juhl Jensen11k

Yes it is about continuity and "bus factor" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bus_factor

ADD REPLYlink written 8.9 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 81k

I agree a non-commercial clause can be detrimental for ourselves.

ADD REPLYlink written 8.9 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 81k
5
gravatar for Steve Moss
8.9 years ago by
Steve Moss2.3k
United Kingdom
Steve Moss2.3k wrote:

I often see questions asked that place artificial barriers, necessitating a particular response, however I am a firm believer in a multifaceted approach and I can't see what stops us from choosing all of the above?

Perhaps it might be considered overkill, but I like to be safe rather than sorry. On my home/work machine I have a script running that tarball's my work weekly and uploads to my network storage drive. I also have a backup utility doing a minimalistic backup on a daily basis. I use DropBox, svn, git and mercurial too, all of which (the respective data directories) are included in the tarballs. I also have automated backups running on my electronic lab notebooks and other services. You can't accuse me of being lax with backups.

So, I don't see why content can't be managed by site administrators, distributed between moderators and released to the community as MySQL dumps via BioTorrents or some other system? I'd like an, all of the above option for my vote please ;)

Cheers,

Steve

ADD COMMENTlink written 8.9 years ago by Steve Moss2.3k
3
gravatar for Bio_X2Y
8.9 years ago by
Bio_X2Y3.7k
Ireland
Bio_X2Y3.7k wrote:

If you want a strict answer, I agree with Option 1.

However, it would be great if any new site had a "Download all as zip" feature so that in a worse case scenario, continuity could be carried on by anyone (not just the moderators, who may or may not have the inclination to build a new site from scratch). Presumably since a Creative Commons license would allow people to re-use the questions anyway, this would be more of a convenience feature than anything. And at a psychological level, I think this kind of feature would remove any fears I have of the site disappearing overnight.

ADD COMMENTlink written 8.9 years ago by Bio_X2Y3.7k
3
gravatar for Egon Willighagen
8.9 years ago by
Maastricht
Egon Willighagen5.2k wrote:

I am mostly with Daniel, but advice against the NC clause of the Creative Commons license. Instead, just use go for CC-SA-BY.

The NC clause inhibits many useful models to host a site like this, including one with advertisement; it makes it impossible to create a book with Neil and Pierre as editors (and many of us as author) with the best questions of the past year. Etc, etc. It also is incompatible with the Open Knowledge Foundation ideas of Open Data and Open Content.

I rest my case.

ADD COMMENTlink modified 4 weeks ago by RamRS24k • written 8.9 years ago by Egon Willighagen5.2k

Does this really prohibit recovery of infrastructure costs for hosting if the content is under the same licence?

I would also argue that specifically prohibiting the book idea would be a good thing, not a bad one. Firstly as this should be the canonical (and most up to date) resource for BioStar content, and secondly it's the 21st Century :)

I've done a bit of reading this morning, and note that Stack Overflow dumps are also licensed CC-SA-BY. I understand the CC-NC-SA-BY is not the textual equivalent of copyleft. I'd like to see more specific use-cases of where a NC licence would hurt.

ADD REPLYlink written 8.9 years ago by Daniel Swan13k

"Does this really prohibit recovery of infrastructure costs?" Why not? I do not have the definite answer... the thing is, just the uncertain state reduces the scope of the applicability, which, IMHO, opposes the whole idea of making the content CC at all. Also, why is making a book out of the content a bad thing? No one has the right to do so right now, but it sounds like an excellent Bioinformatics Tutorial to me... why make that impossible??

ADD REPLYlink written 8.9 years ago by Egon Willighagen5.2k
2
gravatar for Mary
8.9 years ago by
Mary11k
Boston MA area
Mary11k wrote:

I don't have strong feelings about this, but I know some people do.

My only issue would be what you think is best for the future--if you tried to get support for this from grant agencies or from private sources, what would be the best strategy to describe it to them--and to be able to defend that position. And I don't know that any of them would be better for that. I suspect some CC licensing option might be most comforting to them?

As I write that, though, I wonder how you would want users to cite it back if it is used elsewhere. I would at least define that.

ADD COMMENTlink written 8.9 years ago by Mary11k
1
gravatar for Rm
8.9 years ago by
Rm7.9k
Danville, PA
Rm7.9k wrote:

I would like to see biostar with "Creative Commons license". I go with option 1.

ADD COMMENTlink written 8.9 years ago by Rm7.9k
1
gravatar for Casey Bergman
8.9 years ago by
Casey Bergman18k
Athens, GA, USA
Casey Bergman18k wrote:

I support option 1 with CC 3.0 and some sort of mechanism for users to authorise current/past posts for open access use.

ADD COMMENTlink written 8.9 years ago by Casey Bergman18k
1
gravatar for Giovanni M Dall'Olio
8.9 years ago by
London, UK
Giovanni M Dall'Olio26k wrote:

I would put a statement saying that from now on, all the questions and answers on Biostar will be released under a CC license. I would put it on the homepage of the site, and above the 'Post Your Answer' button in the form for submitting a new answer (and the same for posting new questions).

For example:

by submitting your answer or question here, you agree to release it under a CC-SA-By license. Your nickname will be used to recognize your authorship.

You can't do much for the contents posted to date, but you can release the contents posted from now under this license.

ADD COMMENTlink written 8.9 years ago by Giovanni M Dall'Olio26k
Please log in to add an answer.

Help
Access

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy.
Powered by Biostar version 2.3.0
Traffic: 1373 users visited in the last hour