Ecolynx Project: Information Context for Biodiversity Conservation

Data security and copyright

Corresponding to the copyright and data security constraints of third parties, are those of the principal partners (WCMC and UIA) in seeking to sustain their position as information providers in a complex, highly competitive environment (refer to the pages on Stakeholders and Copyright).

Whilst there is no intention to impose copyright on the data, the manner in which it is accessed and used must be restricted to prevent abusive copying of the data onto competing sites. At the same time, since the mandates of both partners are to ensure wide dissemination of information, a degree of openness to external access must be maintained. The methods of achieving these essentially contradictory aims will need to be subject to continuing review.

Further work could clarify which information could be freely available and which subject to access under constraint. Constraint may take the form of filtration through a web server generating pages on-the-fly (as currently practised by WCMC); it may also involve use of passwords and billing systems (currently under investigation by the UIA), or a combination of both. Different methods could be used for different parts of the data, especially where specific sponsorship arrangements reduce the challenge of cost recovery.

The particular challenge of this context derives from the emphasis in databases of both partners on a degree of comprehensiveness. Where information, especially that of higher quality, is only available elsewhere under cost and copyright constraint, more flexible approaches must be envisaged.