Blog archive for February, 2006

Richard Nelson on the Scientific Commons

February 15th, 2006 by John Wilbanks

Brilliant essay by Richard Nelson, the George Blumenthal Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

A representative snippet: The
objective here, it seems to me, is not to eliminate university patenting, but to establish a presumption that university research results, patented or not, should as a general rule be made available to all that want to use them at very low transaction costs, and reasonable financial costs. This would not be to foreclose exclusive or narrow licensing in those circumstances where this is
necessary to gain effective technology transfer. Rather, it would be to establish the presumption
that such cases are the exception rather than the rule.

World’s largest protein DB now under CC license

February 9th, 2006 by John Wilbanks

Uniprot.org, the world’s most comprehensive catalog of information on proteins, is now using Creative Commons licensing.

We spent a lot of time talking to the Uniprot folks over the last year. I’d encourage everyone to check out the FAQ we wrote on database licensing and Creative Commons licenses to understand exactly which elements of the DB are copyrighted and which are not.

But the important thing is, as the terms state, you are now free to copy, distribute, display and make commercial use of these databases, provided you give credit where it’s due. That means the data, the layouts, the entry sheets, everything. Congratulations to the Uniprot consortium and to Eric Jain.