Licensing Open Data: a Practical Guide

Licensing Open Data: a Practical Guide

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Practical guidelines for open data licensing have been published in the United Kingdom.

London, 27 May 2011

(by Katleen Janssen)

Naomi Korn and Charles Oppenheim have prepared a Practical Guide for Licensing Open Data, targeting organisations that want to use open data and want to understand under which terms they can use data licensed by third parties. The Guide relies on work done by the Strategic Content Alliance and JISC projects related to digital content, including Web2Rights.

The Guide provides short information on some of the most important legal domains that need to be taken into account when licensing open data (intellectual property rights, contract law, data protection, freedom of information, and breach of confidence). It explains the commonly known open licence models (Creative Commons, Creative Commons Zero, Open Data Commons, and the Open Government Licence) and also warns that not all of these are really open. In addition, it recognises that open licences are not always appropriate, for instance when other IPRs are included (such as trademarks), when use is restricted to particular users, where third-party generated content is concluded for which permission has not been cleared, or when an open licence model might clash with existing or potential business models.