After having meetings and discussions that dragged on for more than an year, we are now finally distributing our data under a Creative Commons license.

Even though it was clear from the outset that our data is “open access”, some people felt that having a custom license would be more “safe” and give us more control. On the other hand people shouldn’t have to run up large legal bills just to figure out how they can use our data, and the Creative Commons licenses are both well known and clear and simple.

Then there was also some uncertainty about the extent to which a database such as UniProt can be copyrighted, since simple facts can’t be copyrighted. The results of this discussion are summarized on the Science Commons web site.

Special thanks to the Science Commons team, which has been quite helpful throughout the process, and has provided us with better information than anything we could afford to pay for :-)