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RDF data, who owns it?

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Mar 4, 2010
Some times back I wrote article in DigitalPoint forum in ODP section asking the same question "RDF data, who owns it?"

I could get any sensible answers from ODP Editors in DP, so I think bringing this subject to horse's mouth may shade the light and give us the answer.

Here is my article

According to DMOZ management they do because their phony ToU said so:

You agree to waive any claim related to the inclusion, placement, exclusion, or removal of any site in
the ODP or to the title or description of any site appearing in the ODP.
Source: https://curlie.org/termsofuse.html
It would be fine if you submitted your site to DMOZ and requested inclusion but what if your site
one of thousands sites added to DMOZ by editors who are crawling Internet for good sites and
added your site to DMOZ Index without your consent?

People whose sites was listed without their permission never agreed to follow any ToU conditions
including of course content of generic titles and descriptions applied by editors not to mention they
never waived anything because nobody ask them to do so.

Now the questions are:

  • how DMOZ management can claim as their own something that no one legally permitted them to use in a first place?
  • what legal right DMOZ management has to Copyright somebody else’s properties without owners consent?
  • Does DMOZ management have any right to ask RDF data users for attribution given that part of RDF data legally doesn’t belong in DMOZ Index?

Based on facts from above, my question is:
  • Should people who are using RDF data or some links listed in DMOZ Index give DMOZ any attribution?
  • Do you believe that Yahoo, Bing, Google and other Search Engines that has been displaying DMOZ data
    on their pages obliged to place attribution on every search results page?

Now, you don’t have to be some legal scholar to express your own believes and all you have to do is
to look at this page https://curlie.org/license.html, read what it says and then give us your opinion.

I should mention that Dear Emily in her blog article about ODP data couldn't come up with any answer,so maybe
direct question in forum will help us to get to the bottom of this issue and Editors will say their Peace.



Mar 15, 2004
ODP is NOT claiming ownership of site nor their content, merely permission to use, or decline to use, without further legal encumberence any descriptions and titles that are provided them for listing.

The contents of the RDF are prepared by the editors and staff. The titles and descriptions are almost entirely those written by the editors. This is especially true of site they added though their own surfing of the net. As a result this content is the property of said editors and who created it. The RDF is a compilation of this information prepared by said editors and hence belongs to them.

As a result, under copyright law, the owner has a right to ask for attribution of their works, under whatever terms they see fit. This include John Doe or Microsoft or Google. This is no different than any other publication be it electronic or print.

I'm quite certain if you needed the complete details in proper legal language AOL's legal department would be happy to oblige.


Mar 4, 2010
Now this is the most ridicules argument I ever heard.

Just because you went to some store, took, lets say suite, and put it on to see how it looks on you,
according to you it belongs to you because your body straighten some wrinkles and you can walk away
without paying for it.

Oh, I have better one for you. If in restaurant you grab plate with food from neighboring table, stuff food
in your mouth, chew it and then swallow, it doesn’t make it yours just because it ends up in your stomach.

When Editors use somebody’s site without their permission and nearly change Title and Description, that site
cannot be claimed as their own and used by ODP at least ODP places copyright attribution pointing to site owner.
Would you like to point me to even one site in ODP index that says this site copyrighted by whoever owns that site?



Mar 26, 2002
Southern England
Whenever legal questions regarding ODP arise, AOL Legal require editors to refrain from giving an opinion. All they can do is quote our Terms of Use. If you want to challenge these, I advise you to contact AOL Legal at AOLLegal@corp.aol.com .

Attempting to argue the toss with editors is pointless because they can't give a binding opinion. For that reason, closing this thread. Do not open a related one here.
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