Subject: License comments sought: OpenBits free file metadata catalog
From: "Gordon Mohr" <>
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2001 10:32:58 -0700


My company, Bitzi, has opened a preview of our service to the 
public. From the welcome page:

   Bitzi aims to be the web's largest cooperative community 
   catalog for identifying, discussing, and finding bits - 
   digital files of every kind.

   We rely on our community of users to build the catalog, 
   and we give back our collected information for free reuse 

Think in the same cooperative spirit as DMOZ/OpenDirectory, 
Epinions, MusicBrainz, and FreeDB/classic-CDDB - except the 
objects being described are arbitrary files, tracked by their 
cryptographic hashes. With the help of our users, Bitzi will 
become a reliable source of metadata about files, external to 
the files themselves and independent of any particular 
information sharing/delivery network.

Our initiative to make the collected dataset freely 
redistributable and reusable is called "OpenBits" -- to give it 
the potential for an identity independent from the Bitzi 
Corporation -- and we're in the process of finalizing a free 
license governing the catalog, under the name "OpenBits 

Our primary goals with the license are:
   - Enable perpetual free use of the data, assuring
     the community we won't ever "pull a Gracenote"
   - Receive minimal fair attribution wherever 
     Bitzi/OpenBits information is reused, especially
     so that our "reference" dataset is the preferred
     location to make additions and corrections.
   - Communicate the inherent risks and limitations 
     of the dataset, disclaiming warranties and 

To that end, we've modeled our license after the OpenDirectory
license, but tried to streamline/adapt the language for a 
catalog which is often used in piecemeal fashion.

We welcome suggestions, comments, and questions. See the 
OpenBits page at:

...and the draft license, at;

(Our service is in a preview state where registration is required
for many parts of the site; however, these pages and related 
material should be viewable without registering.)


- Gojomo
Gordon Mohr
Founder & CTO, Bitzi