realized writes "AOL has licensed its CrunchBase data under a free Creative Commons license. But once a startup decided to use the CrunchBase AOL threatened to sue them. Startup "Pro Populi" launched apps for apps for Google Glass and the iPhone that uses the CrunchBase database in its entirety. CrunchBase database has been published continuously under the Creative Commons CC-BY attribution license, which permits any use.
However, AOL seems to be upset that people are using their data. Quoted letter from AOL lawyers to the startup:
On the chance that you may have misinterpreted Matt’s willingness to discuss the matter with you last week, and our reference to this as a ‘request,’ let me make clear, in more formal language, that we demand that People+ immediately cease and desist from its current violation and infringement of AOL’s/TechCrunch’s proprietary rights and other rights to CrunchBase, by removing the CrunchBase content from your People+ product and by ceasing any other use of CrunchBase-provided content
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is representing the startup, sent AOL a letter Monday saying “People+ has the right to continue using the material that People+ has gathered to date."
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