Do we want to allow questions about Open Content on Open Data SE? If not, where do we draw the line between Open Data and Open Content?

To clarify, with Open Content I mean creative works that are open, e.g. text documents, images, and audio recordings.

Example questions:

Where can I download those bible verses in JSON or XML or SQL formatted file?

Database of English words pronunciation (which is actually a "data" request for audio files)

What's your view on this?

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  • Could you please add a short line explaining the difference between Open Content and Open Data? Thanks! – Nicolas Raoul Oct 31 '14 at 8:55
  • I hope it's clearer now :) – Patrick Hoefler Oct 31 '14 at 16:20

I can understand the reluctance to allow the bible question through, as the data in question may not be truly open. As I understand it, not all bible versions are in the public domain, and at least one of the sites that I found (in answering the question) did seem to have a "non-commercial use" clause attached to their (quite sophisticated) APIs.

Having said that, assuming the bible content in question is indeed "open" (does public domain = open?) and free for anyone to use, then I see little distinction between textual bible verses and, say, historical weather data. What if a researcher was interested in accessing bible text programmatically via an open API in order to analyse the language, word usage, and so on?

My opinion is that open textual content should not be treated differently than numerical data.

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  • 1
    "reluctance to allow the XYZ question through, as the data in question may not be truly open": A data-request asker, by definition, does not yet know whether open data is available or not. It remains a good question even if answerers can't find matching open data (yet). – Nicolas Raoul Nov 7 '14 at 3:38

I believe we should cater to a rather large scope than only tabular data.

Currently considered on-topic:

No discussion yet:

  • Audio recordings
  • Books
  • Office-type documents
  • Movies

For instance, "Where can I find audio recordings of this rare Madagascar bird" sounds like an interesting question.
It is not like we are overflown by a deluge of questions.

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  • open data is a tenet of openness and i think everything is open...to a point. i like your answer. – albert Mar 11 '15 at 7:55

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