Tag Archives: Writing

When Openness is Unfreedom (alternatively, when data is unfreedom) – Part II

This is the second post in the series that I began in October. I want to thank Rasagy Sharma for prompting me to put down the second post in this series.

This evening, Rasagy raised a question on twitter about whether the effort of a developer to make the database of the Indian railways downloadable is ‘official’ or not? As Rasagy later explained, the downloadable database is a list of trains, stations and the railway timetable. This list has has been made available in various downloadable formats (such as .csv, .pdf, etc) to encourage developers/interested persons to make web/mobile based applications. Rasagy’s question was more in the nature of checking the legality of  the act of putting this information/database on another website when it is explicitly copyright of the Indian Railways (as declared on their website). He argued that cities such as New York and some countries across the world have made this information ‘open’, meaning available to the ‘public’. Hence, it is unreasonable for this government entity i.e., the Indian railways, to be ‘closed’ about reuse of this information by private entities and individuals.

Continue reading When Openness is Unfreedom (alternatively, when data is unfreedom) – Part II