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IP restrictions on the Sunlight Labs APIs and associated data sets?

I just posed a question on the sunlightlabs api group (ok to push data sets and APIs to Freebase.com? – Sunlight Labs API Discussion | Google Groups):

My question is whether it's ok for me to upload some of the data I can get from http://services.sunlightlabs.com/api/ to freebase.com. Freebase then makes its collection of data available under a variety of licenses, including the CC-BY license (http://www.freebase.com/signin/licensing) .

I don't see any restrictions in the ToS against doing so. Moreover, I don't see any statement of how the data is licensed — if at all. What statement of copyright is there?

I'll update here on what I hear back.

{ 2 } Comments

  1. Raymond Yee | March 2, 2009 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Response from James Turk:

    With the new way that the API data is maintained that list is no longer accurate.. I'll see about updating it soon.

    The only data taken most of the sources are the ids (Project Vote Smart ID, eventful ID, etc.) which I don't think there is a real claim of ownership over from any of the websites.

    Legislator data is taken from house.gov and senate.gov and should be considered public domain, you are free to distribute this however you wish.

  2. Scott Blomquist | March 3, 2009 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    One other thing to keep in mind here is that while a specific selection and arrangement of facts (e.g. "best of" lists and other works that require the work of an editor, or collections of facts that require painstaking unique research to compile) can be protected by copyright, facts in general are not protectable.

    As usual, an attorney should be involved if you have specific questions. But a good rule of thumb is that if two editions of a compilation of data would be identical fact-for-fact, the facts are probably fine for inclusion in Freebase. Even better if two compilations already exist that match (for example if wikipedia and IMDB agree about a movie's cast list).

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