A site about how community groups and charities can make the most of data and open data to do something useful. Focused on Birmingham, relevant everywhere.

Version 1.0 of new open data license released


We talk a lot about the importance of open data on this site. Data can be classified as ‘open’, when every person can use it and have unrestricted access to it. Thanks to Michael Grimes, I was alerted about the release of the Open Data License (ODbL), a share-alike license for data and databases.

This license, the first of its kind, is a major step forward for open data. There are currently very few licenses available suited to data and databases and none which provide for share-alike (existing share-alike licenses such as the GPL, GFDL and CC By-SA are all unsuitable for data).

There are two licenses appropriate to use for open data:

This is the way forward for councils and public bodies, licensing their data so that everyone can use it, is the first step towards mainstream adoption. Just see what flickr did for the CC license or, vice versa. I doubt flickr would have grown so quickly without providing CC licensed photos for people and publishers to use on their blogs and websites.

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