The CC BY-SA license is incompatible with the ODbL license.

The confusing thing about ODbL is that it seems to pertain to entire databases, rather than to individual works.

Is it possible then to have a database that contains both ODbL data as well as CC BY-SA data?

If not, do I understand correctly that this can be worked around by having two wholly separate databases, one per license, and simply combining the content from both databases on the front-end? (The ODbL license states that "A work that constitutes a Collective Database will not be considered a Derivative Database," so I assume so.)

  • No such thing as "a database rather than individual works". A database can be a work. The license only applies to the stuff it comes with, it doesn't apply to bits you add on. Note that the only reason the GPL applies to the bits you add on is because it says so - "if you don't apply this license also to the bits you add on, then you don't have permission to use the stuff this license comes with". (That's known as copyleft.) Does the ODbL have a copyleft clause?
    – user253751
    Apr 14, 2021 at 17:28
  • @user253751 The plain-English summary identifies ODbL as having a "share-alike" requirement, "If you publicly use any adapted version of this database... you must also offer that adapted database under the ODbL." The licenses draws a distinction between Derivative and Collective databases (per the last quote here); the answer to this question largely hinges on when a database is one or the other.
    – apsillers
    Apr 14, 2021 at 17:32
  • so then the question is, is your database an adapted version of the ODbL database, or is it the ODbL database alongside your own database? Just like with software libraries.
    – user253751
    Apr 14, 2021 at 17:33
  • @user253751 It's a bit more complex, as the definition of a "work" is different for CC BY-SA than for ODbL, AFAIK. In my case, a CC BY-SA license would apply to a group of strings describing an item. This would be a single entry in a database. ODbL seems to apply to entire databases, though. What I'm wondering is if I can take entries from an ODbL database and combine them with CC BY-SA entries inside a single database.
    – Tin Man
    Apr 14, 2021 at 18:40
  • @TinMan I believe "work" is defined by copyright law, not by the license.
    – user253751
    Apr 15, 2021 at 8:47


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