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   What is the data here?

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There seems to be more than a little resistance on list to my suggestion that 
"data" is de facto jointly owned. Let me try another way to explain an aspect 
of what I am suggesting.

Suppose you enter your data into MS Word or Excel. You hit the print button 
and all your "data" is there on paper. You can do with it what you want 
(within the limitations of it being on paper). No proprietary vendor has any 
hold/claim/whatever on it. Your data is there. It's yours. You can do with it 
what you want.

The data in its data container whether that is a .doc or .xls or other file 
format is something signficantly, but perhaps subtly, different from the 
plain data on paper which latter is indisputably yours and only yours 
(assuming you didn't steal the data or similar).

It is that combination of data and its proprietary data container that I am 
suggesting is de facto "jointly owned".

I suspect that some respondents agree it is jointly owned, but perhaps their 
passion for disentangling or removing that implicit joint ownership makes 
them reluctant to acknowledge the current reality of the situation.

The concept of de facto joint ownership applies not to the "users's data" but 
to the combination of user data and data container.

Andrew Watt


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