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Open data licensing: More than meets the eye

Open data licensing: More than meets the eye In discussions of open government data (OGD) the question of how such datashould be licensed or whether they need to be licensed at all has to datereceived only limited attention in the academic literature. This paper seeksto make a contribution to reducing this gap. In order to do this, theconcept of an open licence is first defined. Then, using a study of theextant literature and an examination of current open data licences, thechallenges in designing an open data licence are explored. As part of this,relevant aspects of the debate that continue to surround such licensing inthe worlds of open systems, freeware, shareware and open source are brieflydiscussed. A critique of a number of existing data licences includingvarious international and national licencing frameworks is presented. TheCreative Commons (CC) and Open Database (ODbL) Licenses are criticallyexamined and problems with the concepts underlying a number of otherlicences are highlighted. The question of what may be suitable for standardpublic licenses and what may require bespoke or customised licensing isdiscussed. It is argued that many libertarian ideas about OGD licensing areunrealistic and that good licensing is critical to effective use of OGD. Thepaper concludes with a number of issues that would be designers of OGDlicences need to address. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Information Polity IOS Press

Open data licensing: More than meets the eye

Information Polity , Volume 20 (4): 22 – Nov 25, 2015

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Publisher
IOS Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved
ISSN
1570-1255
eISSN
1875-8754
DOI
10.3233/IP-150357
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In discussions of open government data (OGD) the question of how such datashould be licensed or whether they need to be licensed at all has to datereceived only limited attention in the academic literature. This paper seeksto make a contribution to reducing this gap. In order to do this, theconcept of an open licence is first defined. Then, using a study of theextant literature and an examination of current open data licences, thechallenges in designing an open data licence are explored. As part of this,relevant aspects of the debate that continue to surround such licensing inthe worlds of open systems, freeware, shareware and open source are brieflydiscussed. A critique of a number of existing data licences includingvarious international and national licencing frameworks is presented. TheCreative Commons (CC) and Open Database (ODbL) Licenses are criticallyexamined and problems with the concepts underlying a number of otherlicences are highlighted. The question of what may be suitable for standardpublic licenses and what may require bespoke or customised licensing isdiscussed. It is argued that many libertarian ideas about OGD licensing areunrealistic and that good licensing is critical to effective use of OGD. Thepaper concludes with a number of issues that would be designers of OGDlicences need to address.

Journal

Information PolityIOS Press

Published: Nov 25, 2015

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