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Re: Data Model Protection?

From: Chris Browne <cbbrowne(at)acm(dot)org>
To: pgsql-novice(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Data Model Protection?
Date: 2011-02-09 20:55:10
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Lists: pgsql-novice
cragjones(at)csj(dot)myzen(dot)co(dot)uk ("Caradoc Jones") writes:
> Please excuse my lack of knowledge on the scope of Open Source
> principles but . . . 
> If you develop a unique data model within Postgresql
> (i.e. designs for a set of tables, primary and foreign keys and
> bespoke SQL queries that access that data design)
> does that model remain ‘private’ to the developer or under open source
> terms is it visible and available for all to copy and use?
> Many Thanks.

That always depends on what you intend.

PostgreSQL includes schemas (e.g. - look for tables in the namespaces
pg_catalog and information_schema) which are pretty necessarily "open

But the schema that you develop yourself belongs to you, and you may
license it however you wish.  

That assumes you haven't got other legal impositions.

For instance, employers in Information Technology businesses frequently
require employees to sign employment contracts in which things developed
by the employees are considered to belong, legally, to the employer.

It shouldn't come as any huge shock that the company assigns me to
develop software for some purpose, the company owns the results of that

The more surprising scenario is that this might also apply to software I
might develop at home, on my own computer, on my own time.  It is not
unusual for employment contracts to go that far.

In any case, the owner of the code (and a database schema is a form of
code) is free to determine what legal impositions to impose on its use.

It's somewhat unusual for "open source" projects to try to put in any
impositions edgewise alongside that, though it's not unknown...

- Bison (a compiler generator) used to impose the GPL license on code
  generated using it.  Not true anymore, but it was once true, and
  people used to decline to use Bison because of this.

- Some Other Databases out there have a history of suggesting that if
  your application (which might include definitions of database tables)
  isn't "open source," you have to pay for traditional proprietary
  licenses for their database. That was always a pretty dodgy argument,
  and they didn't *say* this, they'd just leave it ambiguous, and say
  that "if in doubt, it's always a safe idea to buy licenses from us!"

Not a Postgres thing, either of those.
let name="cbbrowne" and tld="" in name ^ "@" ^ tld;;
Signs of a Klingon Programmer - 19.  "My program has just dumped Stova

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