Frequently Asked Questions

Data licensing

Why do I need to add a license?

Licenses provide an easy way to manage the copyright terms that attach automatically to all creative material under copyright.  That means that licenses allow material to be shared and reused under terms that are flexible and legally sound.  Adding a license is an added protection for Datafair sellers and buyers meant to apply to any of the parts of a dataset that incurs copyright terms.

Facts are not subject to copyright, so is data licensing necessary?

Facts are not copyright and neither are the ideas underlying copyrighted content.  But, the data or other contents contained in the database are subject to copyright if they are sufficiently creative. For example, original survey questions contained in a database could possibly be protected by copyright, but purely factual data (such as gene names or city populations) would not.

In general with databases, there are likely four components to consider for copyright:

  1. the database model or structure
  2. the data entry and output sheet
  3. field names
  4. the data or other content.

What conditions are typically found in a dataset license?

While the precise details vary, although the three conditions commonly found in licences are attribution, copyleft, and non-commerciality. An attribution requirement means that the seller (licensor) must be given credit for the work when it is distributed, displayed, performed, or used to derive a new work. A copyleft requirement (often called Share-alike) means that any new works derived from the licensed one must be released under the same license, and only that licence. The intent of a non-commercial licence is to prevent the buyer (licensee) from exploiting the work commercially. Whether a particular use is commercial will depend on the specifics of the situation and the intentions of the user.

What is the standard license you suggest?

Of course it depends on your goals but we suggest using the most permissive license available so that your dataset can have the widest possible impact. The most permissive is dedicating the work to the public domain with CC0. If other licenses are used, it is not recommended to use NonCommercial (NC) or NoDerivatives (ND) licenses on data intended for scholarly or scientific use.

What are sui generis database rights?

Sui generis database rights grant qualifying data(base) makers the right to prohibit the extraction and reuse of a substantial portion of a data(base). The rights are granted to data(base) makers that make a substantial investment of time and resources to create the data(base).

Where are sui generis database rights applied?

Sui generis database rights are primarily enacted within the European Union and a handful of other jurisdictions, such as Korea and Mexico. Generally, if you are using a database in a location where those rights do not exist, you do not have to comply with license restrictions or conditions unless copyright is implicated.

What do sui generis database rights imply?

When a database is subject to sui generis database rights, extracting and reusing a substantial portion of the database contents is prohibited absent some express exception. The EU is reviewing the usefullness of the Database Directive which stipulates the assignment of the sui generis database rights.

Can the CC licenses be used to deal with issues implied by the sui generis rights?

Yes. The CC license version 4.0 suite addresses sui generis database rights issues. The sui generis database rights can impede a user’s ability to share, reuse, and modify a data in the same way that copyright can, so CCv4.0 licenses make it clear that these permissions apply to data that would otherwise be restricted by sui generis database rights as well.

What are publicity, personality, and privacy rights?

These terms are used differently in different jurisdictions. Generally speaking, these rights allow individuals to control the use of their voice, image, likeness, or other identifiable aspect of their identity, especially for purposes of commercial exploitation. Similarly, in some jurisdictions these rights allow people to restrict others’ ability to publish information about them without their permission. Whether and to what extent these rights exist, and if so, how they are labeled, varies depending on the jurisdiction.  Where the seller (licensor) has publicity, personality, or privacy rights that may affect use of the data, but with the CC licenses the seller agrees to waive or not assert those rights.

For buyers

Where can I get information about new datasets available on Datafair?

Send us an email with the categories of data that are of interest to you.  When one of these datasets becomes available we will send you an alert. We may also suggest to some of our data Sellers that they make an effort to assemble these types of data from publicly available sources if possible.

What does it mean to purchase a dataset?

When you buy a dataset, you acquire the right to use that dataset; you’re not actually acquiring the dataset itself. What you get includes a license directly from the seller to use that dataset. Datasets are subject to specific terms of use, and these terms are the ‘license’ that is attributed by the Datafair seller. We encourage sellers to use very open and well known licenses that allow reuse of data in various scenarios.

How do I download my purchase?

Once your payment is confirmed a link will immediately be sent to you by email. Click on the link to start the download.

Do I need to register with Datafair to purchase datasets?

Yes. We require you to register because we want you to be able to return to download the data repeatedly without paying for another download.

What are the transaction costs that are added when I buy a dataset?

Think of transaction costs to be similar to shipping costs on a physical product.  The small transaction costs are the costs that are charged in order make the dataset available long-term  and to process payments. For buyers with residence in the EU, VAT will be added in accordance to the EU regulations.

Can buyers have contact with the sellers to ask specific questions about their datasets?

Yes.  We encourage buyers to make contact with the sellers.  It is very useful if buyers eventually write a recommendation about the seller’s attention to their questions and the quality of their dataset. Your feedback and questions will help the seller improve their offerings and/or guide others to datasets are really well done.

How do I ask the seller a question about a dataset?

You need log in to your account or register.   Then clicking on the “Details” button of a dataset will take you to the page with information about the dataset.  Here you will find links that allow you to send a message to the seller.  Click on the “Contact” link and ask your question. Alternatively, you can go to the seller’s store by clicking on their name which is the link shown after “Sold by”.  At the top of their store page in the banner there is a “Contact” link.  Fill in the form with your question and it will be sent to the seller.

Your conversations with the sellers can also be accessed by logging into your account and selecting the “Messages” menu item on the left-hand side.

How do I leave feedback for a seller?

Once you have downloaded your item and evaluated it,  log back into your Datafair account.   From the “My account” tab, click on “User Details” in the dropdown.  This should take you to “My Account” page which has “Orders Placed” in the menu on the left hand side.  Click on “Orders Placed” and then the “Leave Feedback” button next to the appropriate item.  Here you can choose a star level and enter your comment.  If the feedback given is malicious without purpose, we may remove it without further contact.

Can I change my feedback?

If you have left comments incorrectly, or a seller has rectified a problem, please log back into your account and change your feedback to reflect your present view. On your “Orders Placed ” page next to your order will be a “Revise Feedback” button that will allow you to make the changes.

What sort of payments are accepted?

Payment is by credit card.

I can’t complete my order with a credit or debit card. What should I do?

Make sure you have sufficient funds or credit bank account. If you have confirmed that you have available funds, there may be an issue with:

  • Your billing address – is it correct and complete?
  • Your 3-digit CV2 number on the reverse of your card – is it correct?
  • Your card’s speed limit – have you made multiple purchases elsewhere within a short space of time?

I found an issue with a dataset I purchased.  What can I do?

First, contact the seller and alert them to the issue.  If you do not get a response within a reasonable amount of time then forward your purchase confirmation email to outlining the issue and we can look into it for you.

What billing information does Datafair store?

Datafair stores your name, email, address and a company name if one was provided.

If a seller deletes the dataset listing, do I still have access?

Yes. You can continue to access the dataset you purchased via the download link.  When a seller deletes a listing it indicates that they will no longer support questions or sales concerning that particular dataset.

Why is EU VAT added to my purchase?

In accordance with EU regulations, EU VAT is collected from buyers in the EU who do not have a valid VAT registration number. Therefore, please ensure that the country you have selected in your profile is your country of residence for tax and legal purposes. If you are an EU buyer with a valid VAT registration number, you must use the Reverse Charge Mechanism to account for the EU VAT on those transactions and no VAT charges will be added to your invoice.

For sellers

How do I become a dataset seller?

You need to register with Datafair and apply to become a seller.  Once your application is approved you can start uploading datasets. See the “Getting Started” page for details.

What is the commission on dataset sales?

The commission on datasets is 50% from each sale.  As a seller you can easily track your sales and profits from your dashboard.

Can a seller offer datasets at no charge?

No. The minimum equivalent of a 3 Euro price tag is required on all datasets.

What type of data can be sold?

All types of data covering many different domains can be sold. For example, survey data, datasets assembled from public online sources, experimental data, or basically any data that the seller has the right to sell. Datafair will not allow sellers to sell non-anonymized personal data (names, addresses, etc), pornographic data, or other data known to be illegally obtained. See our terms and conditions for more details.

Why is each dataset required to have a license?

There are many complexities and ambiguities surrounding the rights of dataset compilers (sellers), therefore reusers (buyers) need clear guidance from compilers on what they are allowed to do with the data.

Can I make up my own license?

Yes, but writing a bespoke licence for your data is not a trivial undertaking, and almost certainly unnecessary in the light of the standard licences available. Furthermore, using a standard licence helps the users of your data as it reduces the complexity of conditions they have to understand when reusing datasets.

Do licenses give warranties on the dataset?

The Creative Commons licenses that we recommend that sellers attach to their datasets do not offer warranties or guarantees about the material they are licensing unless expressly indicated otherwise. All materials are licensed “AS IS” and a disclaimer of warranties applies unless expressly provided otherwise.

What are the most common problems found in datasets?

There are 5 very common problems that keep datasets from being tidy.  They are:

  1. column headers are values, not variable names
  2. multiple variables are stored in one column
  3. variables are stored in both rows and columns
  4. multiple types of observational units are stored in the same table
  5. a single observational unit is stored in multiple tables

As a seller how do I set a price on my datasets?

Your data are worth what the market will pay. We understand that to you, your data are close to priceless because you’ve put in a lot of effort to collect, clean, and analyze it. It has served an important purpose for you, but remember a buyer’s purpose will usually not be the same. From a buyer’s’ perspective, your data are interesting due to certain variables you measured and the number of observations you have made for those specific variables. Therefore, as a rough estimate, we suggest you base your price on the number of complete (no missing variable measurements) observations.  The price per observation is often in the range of $0.001 to $2.00.

Can I put my dataset on a promotional sale? How do I do this?

Yes, datasets can be put on promotional sales.  60 days a year is the maximum number of days a dataset can be put on sale. The seller determines when a dataset is put on sale via their dashboard.  On seller’s dashboard, the start and the end data of a sale and the sale price for each dataset can be set.

Can a buyer resell a dataset?

It depends. Each dataset comes with a license that stipulates what can be done with the data (that has copyright terms attached). The buyer and the seller should both understand the conditions of the license that is connected with the dataset. Datafair encourages sellers to use licenses that allow buyers to make derivative works from the data (improved quality, use of more standardized vocabularies, addition of summary statistics, conversion to other formats, etc) that could be commercialized as a different dataset.

How does seller get paid?

When the seller applies for an account, they supply the bank details that are needed for making deposits into their account.  On a rolling basis the balance from their sales are deposited into their account.

What about the tax information for sellers?

For sellers based in the US with more than $20,000 gross in a calendar year and more than 200 transactions a Form 1099-K will be supplied.

What level of support should dataset sellers give their customers?

If you’re going to provide datasets via Datafair, the most important thing you can do besides doing great work is to be approachable, responsive, and respectful toward others. Be proud of the work you do, and keep supporting your content and the people that use it. When a customer  makes a decision to purchase your dataset, they want to feel confident that the content is as advertised and that the seller will be available to answer questions about the data.

How do I answer questions about my datasets?

You can view and answer buyer’s questions from your account on Datafair.  Log on and under “My Account” tab, select “User details”.  On the menu items on the left hand side, click on “Messages” to go to your message center.  You will be alerted to Buyer’s questions because they will be sent from Datafair to your email.  Be sure to check your spam folder for these and adjust your filters accordingly!