Product Open Data Twenty Sixteen

Discussion about the maintenance and expansion/ updating of the Open Product Database.

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hi everyone,

I just introduced myself in the “New Member Introductions” topic. Briefly: I am a software developer, and I work in the eCommerce domain. I am interested in the Open Product Data project for both personal and professional reasons.

It is a first time for me trying to contribute to an open source project, and I am looking forward to help.

With that said, I have a preliminary question to ask: are there any particular reasons why the project was left aside?


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Not sure how it stumbled, just stopped being maintained and brought forward properly, website could do with an update etc.

Certainly worth maintaining and trying to expand though, I think.

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We are looking into making a peer-to-peer web shop, for which it would be beneficial to get a baseline of product info. We obviously have the option to start creating a product database from scratch, but in case there is global data, this could create a nice baseline from where to start enriching and crowdsourcing the information. To establish this, might someone know:

What is the source of this 2013 data?

What kind of action would updating it involve?

I’ve raised this question before and today would like to do so again: what’s the legal status of this open data project?

I really value everyone’s effort! And I would love to see this initiative flourish, but there are multiple issues here:

  • You say data has been scraped from the Internet. Some .xls. That’s, well, illegal. You can’t just copy available data from source A and declare it open source or public domaion once you put it into a non-profit project. It’s debatable if the “GTIN -> short-product-description” textual information is above the “Threshold of originality” to be copyrighted (let’s say it’s an edge case) but when we’re talking richer data it is, and a whole data-set/db is again copy righted (at least in some countries). We’d have to license or at least officially ask GS1 and connected parties to give such data away or donate it into PD. Please tell me if I’m legally wrong here.

  • Then images. As you said, the’ve been downloaded from a source on the Net, and then loaded into the OKNF AWS instance. That’s, well, illegal too. It might be “fair use” in some countries, but not in most of the EU (AFAIK). And this is not GS1 data, like basic data, but copyrighted photographic and graphic works. Someone took that picture, someone designed the packaging in the picture, and someone registered depicted brands. A page like Browse by Brands is hundreds of possible lawsuits. OKNF is not Amazon. Amazon has written consent from producers. OKNF has not. Amazon is selling these goods (so rights owners are satisfied). OKNF is not. Please tell me if I’m legally wrong here.

Please clarify these issues. And please, as long as the legal status of this dataset and connected assets is unclear, do not advise people to use it freely, or make them believe this data would be open and free (as in beer), sending them into possible legal trouble.

That said, again, I as much as possibly everyone else here, would be really interested in a truly open and transparent GTIN based database. So these issues have to be resolved, first.