back to article European Space Agency slaps CC licences on its pics and vids

The European Space Agency has flung the data doors open: from today, it's adopted an open access policy for its trove of images and videos. As the agency explains, its adoption the Creative Commons Attribution – ShareAlike 3.0 Intergovernmental Organisation (it even abbreviates to a mouthful: CC BY SA IGO 3.0) licence as its …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    New Doctor Who reader's Poll.

    It's a shame "Comet Scientist" (Project Scientist for the Rosetta mission), Dr Matt Taylor wasn't in that list. He'd have probably have won, well he'd have got my vote.

  2. Mage Silver badge



    Why not do it properly and make them Public Domain.

    Or put (c) ESA <any desired relaxation of Berne rights>

    No-one needs the confusing and complicated CC licences. Ordinary copyright with an addendum or Public Domain is fine.

    However, very friendly of them to make the imagery available.

    1. Bronek Kozicki

      Re: CC

      perhaps because Public Domain is not necessarily a valid license in all jurisdictions. In other words, in some countries it might not be possible to abandon creator's copyright, simply because the law does not allow it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: CC

      Bit of a whinger, aren't we, Mr Mage?

      > No-one needs the confusing and complicated CC licences.

      In case you may not have noticed, we live in a confusing and complicated world. Standard licences actually give the clarity that ad-hoc formulations lack.

      But you are of course welcome to nominate yourself for the post of chief legal counsel at the ESA. Once you get the job, having convinced them that you know way better than them, you can change the licences to whatever you want.

      Let me know when you're in the post. I may pop in for a cup of tea and to offer my congratulations. :-)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: CC

      Copyleft is best because it turns copyright against itself.

      Those who already had the intention to share aren't affected, while freeloading corps can't appropriate it. Not for thousands of years, or however long copyright lasts these days.

  3. Rosie Davies

    "...a bunch of..."

    Shudder, squirm, ick.

    Horrible, horrible language.


    1. caffeine addict

      Re: "...a bunch of..."

      Signing comments?

      Shudder, squirm, ick.

  4. Nick Kew

    A longstanding de-facto situation

    When I worked at ESA (most of the '90s), there was a widespread attitude that image data should be free. But in an era when internet data trickled at a rate of byte by painful byte, a general-purpose website to dispense candy to everyone seemed inconceivable.

    I first developed an ESA website for certain Earth Science data in '95 (complete with cool JAVA tool to select an area of interest from the map). It limited users to 10Mb, and we thought few users could hold a connection open for enough hours to download anything close to that much. Mostly you'd use the website to order a tape containing the data. And you had to register. But it wasn't vetoed: even back then, the principle of free data had been allowed by the powers-that-be.

  5. Fizzle

    Now the evidence of alien life has been airbrushed out.. last we can see the rest of the images.

    Just waiting for NASA to do the same.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: last we can see the rest of the images.

      ah, who cares about the stupid pictures. I want the raw magnetometer data! :-)

  6. MonkeyNuts.Com
    Thumb Up

    OK that headline made me laugh. Well played.

  7. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Well, that's the upcoming long weekend* sorted for me...

    * The highest holiday of Rhenish Christendom is looming - Rosenmontag. D'r Zoch kütt!

  8. Crazy Operations Guy

    Copyright in space

    this got me thinking, do copyright laws actually apply in space? What would happen if someone jammed a server into a satellite and started broadcasting data down to Earth? What about serving up torrents?

    This also goes to a a question I've always had about software export rights in the US. An American cannot export encryption code to anywhere expect Canada if the code hasn't been licensed for export. But what about someone sitting in the US using an ssh session to a server elsewhere in the world, would that still fall under export restrictions? The machine with the code on it is in another nation that would allow export such data. What if the terminal session was done through a satellite repeater and the code happened to be sent to another country by someone listening to those frequencies?

    I've always wondered about stuff like that. Especially since I like to write encryption software but I am, unfortunately, an American... Although the same could be said of security researchers writing multi-purpose code in countries that restrict "Hacker tools".

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