IP policy development

Submitted by admin on March 20, 2011 - 17:13

To return to the main Intellectual Property (IP) Policy discussion, click here.

The purpose of this forum is to obtain your input and comments on the proposed IP policy and implementation strategy for the GlobalSoilMap.net project.  Please read the materials provided and enter your comments and suggestions below.

  1. Do you agree that all newly created metadata, visualizations and data accessible through GlobalSoilMap.net will be provided free for both commerical and non‐commercial use under a Creative Commons type license?
  2. Do you agree that foreground rights (i.e. systems and data that GlobalSoilMap.net creates as a result of its work) are owned by the GlobalSoilMap.net consortium and will be made freely available?
  3. Do you agree that no legacy soils data will be used in the production of, or otherwise incorporated into, GlobalSoilMap.net products without the express permission of the agency or entity that produced it?
  4. Do you agree that the ownership of all pre-existing data made available through GlobalSoilMap.net by contributing data providers (soil surveys and organisations) remains with the data provider, unless they explicitly relinquish those ownership rights?
  5. Do you agree that IPR must be clearly specified for each type of data (metadata, raster/image data, Web Map and Web Feature services) made available by any contributing data provider?
  6. Do you agree that any provider of legacy soils data to the GlobalSoilMap.net project can attach specific conditions for access and use of their data by specifying access constraints?
  7. Do you agree that a clear default statement of "suitability for use" must be included with all contributed data and a link or email address be provided for obtaining support or advice?.
  8. Do you agree that the GlobalSoilMap.net project will provide clear and easy to use protocols and procedures for entering, recording and presenting user-supplied information on IP rights, access conditions and "suitability for use" for all user-supplied legacy soils data?
  9. Do you agree that there will be no written license agreement between GlobalSoilMap.net and its data providers or users but IPR and suitable use information is easily accessible?
  10. Do you agree that data providers must be properly acknowledged in any scientific papers that use provided data?

Also feel free to add any other comments of a more general nature. For example:

  1. is the present IP policy too narrowly focussed on legacy soils data (profiles and maps) for use in the GlobalSoilMap.net project only?
  2. Should the IP policy be broadened to explicitly identify other types of potential data to which IP applies (e.g. management recommendations, research trial data, covariate data, photos)?
  3. Do you agree that it is in our interests to try to produce a short and simple IP policy that we then ask lawyers if it is acceptable?
  4. Do you agree that the IP policy has to be coupled with a simple, easy to implement, but effective implementation protocol. The protocol envisaged here is simply a web form that every contributor has to fill out. The form gives all the necessary information on who owns the data, what conditions they place on its use, who to contact for information, advice or permission to use, etc.?


In November 2008, an $18 million grant has been obtained from the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to map most parts in Sub-Sahara Africa, and make all Sub-Saharan Africa data available. From this grant there are also funds for coordinating global efforts and for the establishment of a global consortium. Several institutions have assumed a leading role in this effort and have made substantial financial and in-kind contributions.

Our main donors: