Monday Oct 08, 2007

Open Data Licences

The amount of Open Data is growing fast. The idea that data may need protection in an Open Society is bizarre enough, but in Europe at least a whole set of laws have been put in place for this purpose. For those who wish to add data to the Commons, so that it may better contribute to the value of the network as predicted by Metcalf's law, current Open licences will not do it seems. This is, as I understand, because copyright licenses do not cover data well, since a set of relations can be serialized in any number of ways: order does not matter, it is easy to refactor data, or combine it with other data. (I wonder then why this was not a problem for source code?)

To help resolve these issues, Talis, a Leading Semantic Web company, helped fund research into this area which resulted in the Open Data Licence project, which is now seeking feedback on their proposals. From my quick reading of it this license seems to have a gnu feel to it, but I may be wrong.

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