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The terms of use of Socrata “grant of rights” clause caught my attention as it gives Socrata and its affiliates unlimited rights over what users submit to the DB:

A. Grant of Rights. During the term of this agreement, User grants Socrata and its affiliates a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, fully sublicensable, right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, analyze, perform and display User Content in connection with the Service and to provide service to its users. User understands that once User Content is provided, Socrata and content users have a limited ability to control or delete such content.

It is our understanding of 2CFR200.315 that federal government has the right to obtain, reproduce, publish, or otherwise use the data produced under a Federal award and authorize others to receive, reproduce, publish or otherwise use such data for Federal purposes. However, the Socrata language requests federal award recipients to grant all the above-stated rights under section A. of the Terms of Use to Socrata and it's affiliated.

Could you please explain how USAID is managing the flow down datasets to Socrata affiliates and if there are any protections against modifying datasets by 3rd parties?

  • You might want to ask this on Law SE. – csk Feb 7 at 21:06
  • Thank you for your message. We are looking into this question and will respond to you soon. Data Services Team dataservices@usaid.gov – Morgan Daniels Feb 14 at 19:15
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Thank you for your question. 2 CFR 200.315 is a clause in the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, And Audit Requirements For Federal Awards, which apply to grants and cooperative agreements, together referred to as assistance awards.

The agreement with our partner (Socrata) to manage the DDL is a contract, subject to the Federal Acquisition Regulations, and therefore, contains different provisions, including an express prohibition against using, releasing, reproducing, distributing, or publishing data first produced or obtained from the government or third parties and hosted on the Socrata platform without the written permission of the Contracting Officer. The terms on the Socrata site that you referenced govern the relationship between Socrata and the entities uploading data. These provisions are intended to provide adequate assurance that Socrata has the licenses it needs to perform the Service(s) for which it was contracted (in this case, managing the DDL). Those terms do not supersede the terms between USAID and Socrata (which prohibit Socrata’s use of the data beyond the provision of contracted services on the DDL) or between USAID and our assistance partners (which grant USAID a license to data funded under the award). We hope that provides clarification.

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