Open data is data and content that can be freely used, modified and shared by anyone for any purpose.
— Open Knowledge Foundation

For some organisations, for various reasons, one of the most difficult things about open data is accepting the above statements. The notion of releasing data into the wild, to be shared, modified and freely used without any consequences or obligations is a scary one.

Open data licences can support data publishers in overcoming the initial fear of opening up data - by making sure that the original database, material and work that is published under the various open data licences is released to the public in a licenced, regulated manner.

Open data licences available in USMART at first glance:

*Share = copy, distribute, use, publish, transmit // **Create = to produce works from the database // ***Adapt = remix, modify, transform, and build upon the material

*Share = copy, distribute, use, publish, transmit // **Create = to produce works from the database // ***Adapt = remix, modify, transform, and build upon the material

Not entirely rocket science, is it? We, however, suggest you take a deep dive below to gain a better understanding of the various licences at your disposal in USMART.*

List of licences, click on the licence to jump to dedicated section:

Open Government Licence


The Open Government Licence is one of the most used licences when it comes to public sector open data.

This licence entitles the user to freely:

OpenGovernmentLicence2.png

This means that the user can use and reuse the Information that is available under this licence freely and flexibly, with only a few conditions.

One of these conditions is:

The user MUST acknowledge the source of the Information in their product or application by including or linking to any attribution statement specified by the Information Provider(s) and, where possible, provide a link to this licence.

This licence grants the user a worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, non-exclusive license to use the Information.

The licence has a non-endorsement clause. This licence does not grant the user any right to use the Information in a way that suggests any official status or that the Information Provider and/or Licensor endorse the user or the use of the Information.

This licence also provides protection for the data publisher, when it comes to data quality. The Information is licenced 'as is' and the Information Provider and/or Licensor excludes all representations, warranties, obligations and liabilities in relation to the Information to the maximum extent permitted by law.

The Information Provider and/or Licensor are not liable for any errors or omissions in the Information and shall not be liable for any loss, injury or damage of any kind caused by its use. The Information Provider does not guarantee the continued supply of the Information.

You can read more about this licence here.

Public domain dedication and licence

The Open Data Commons – Public Domain Dedication & Licence is a document intended to allow data reusers and publishers to freely share, modify, and use their work - “Work” – means either or both of the Database and Data offered under the terms of this licence - for any purpose and without any restrictions. This licence is intended for use on databases or their contents (“data”), either together or individually.

You can read more about this licence here.

Open Database Licence

More about this licence here.

 

The Creative Commons licences

 
Creative Commons Licence spectrum (Source)

Creative Commons Licence spectrum (Source)

The Creative Commons (CC) licences allow for free distribution of otherwise copyrighted work. These licences are often used in the creative industry, for example remixing music on music sharing platforms such as Soundcloud.

The Creative Commons licences includes 6 main different licence types, written to conform to international treaties governing copyright, sitting on a spectrum. This ranges from free to use with no restrictions globally (CC0), all the way to the most restricted one - only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change the works in any way or use them commercially.

CC0 - Public domain dedication - "No Rights Reserved"

CC0.png

This tool allows you to free your own work of copyright restrictions around the world. You may use this tool even if your work is free of copyright in some jurisdictions, if you want to ensure it is free everywhere. This may be the case if you are a museum or library reproducing a work in the public domain and want to convey clearly to the public that you claim no copyright in your digital copy. Creative Commons does not recommend this tool for works that are already in the public domain worldwide.

Keep in mind that you cannot waive rights to a work that you do not own unless you have permission from the owner. To avoid infringing third party rights, you should consult with your legal advisor if you are unsure whether you have all the rights you need to distribute the work.

For more information or to access the tool that guides you through the process of generating an HTML with embedded metadata for marking your work as being available under CC0 - click here.

Creative Commons - Public domain mark - "No Known Copyright"

Using the tool provided by CC allows you to label works that are free of known copyright restrictions. CC does not recommend this tool for works that are restricted by copyright laws in one or more jurisdictions.

Using the Public Domain Mark (PDM), you can mark a work that is free of known copyright restrictions and clearly convey that status. When applied properly, the PDM allows the work to be easily discovered and provides valuable information about the work.

The PDM is intended for use with old works that are free of copyright restrictions around the world, or works that have been affirmatively placed in the worldwide public domain prior to the expiration of copyright by the rights’ holder. It should not be used to mark works that are in the public domain in some jurisdictions while known to be restricted by copyright in others.

You can discover more about this license and the tool that guides you through the labelling process click here.

Creative Commons Attribution (England & Wales)

You are free to:

  • Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format.
  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.
  • The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the licence terms.
CCA.png

Check out the licence here.

Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike

CCSA.png

You are free to:

  • Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format.
  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.
  • The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the licence terms.

More about this licence here.

You can also choose to publish your data Unlicenced, however, to avoid any future issues and to encourage reuse, we recommend that you apply one of the above licences to your published data.


*Disclaimer

This blogpost intends to give you a brief overview of the various licences available in USMART and the most common licences used for open data.  They are the human-readable summaries of the licences and not the licences themselves. The various licences are introduced briefly to give the readers a full picture. Please follow the link at the end of each section to learn more about the licences. This blog post is not intended to be and should not be considered as legal advice.

Comment