Applying license on data taken on another website


Hi all, sorry if I’ve chosen the wrong category … but I wanted to ask , if I find data on another website, ( there is no license there) I transform it into csv and publish on my website.
Am I ethically allowed to apply Creative Commons license in a data initially provided with none … ?
As this imply an authorization to “reuse” the data while the real provider said nothing about it …


Hi, Fabienne! The matter extends further than the ethical issue. What if someone else finds the datasets on the website where you also found it and decides to publish it (or some derivative) on his/hers website as CC0 or CC BY-NC?
The dataset (or whatever content - music, video, text, code) must receive its license from the initial provider.
To answer your question, I would not recommend licensing data that it is not yours to license (I doubt that legally you could do that), but contact the site owner and ask him to license it or provide the initial source.


Hi Codrina, thanks for your answer. I am just wondering all possibilities because I know this debate will also occur here soon or later … Actually, these same data are available elsewhere on newspapers (for national archives) … the thing is who is now the real owner of the data ? the newspaper or the website ? … or then republishing without license at all ? …

It’s a little the same, Open Food Facts Data for example, are free eto reuse for everyone… but the owner (producing company) shows ingredients on the food package (with no license ) …


Indeed, sometimes we can encounter some uncertainties between the owner and producer of a dataset. Usually, these things are settled legally, by contract.
However, in this particular case, I believe things are pretty straight forward. It does not matter on how many site the datasets appears, but its source. The initial owner/producer of the data does not change, because they did not license the data.
Regarding Open Food Facts Data, this is a database containing ingredients from different foods collected by volunteers. The added-value comes from the actual construction of the DB, its structure, its volume of the updated information, its functionalities that allow queries, extracts etc. And the owner of the database (NGO Open Food Facts, as I understand) is rightfully specifying what are the terms and conditions under which the DB can be used.


yes, this is where I am a little confused … I understand somehow the thing about talking with the initial provider for a data one might want to transform into a reusable format but for the OpenFood Facts …

1 - A producing company produces the food => they put the ingregients on package, normally the company is the owner of the ingredient data (not licenced)
2- Volunteers collect those data to form the DB

So now, OpenFoodFacts becomes owner of the data just like this …
No matter what licence Open Foof Facts will apply on the DB , isn’t this the same as applying a licence on a data which is not yours and not initially licensed too … ?

Ok, O.F.Facts mention the Source of the data (photos etc… ) , but even some companies don’t know their “products” (data) are online

I will go crazy on this topic :yum: hihihi