At its simplest, open data requires just two things: data and openness. The key to openness is how the data is licensed. Data that doesn’t explicitly have an open licence is not open data.
Organisations who are publishing data need to understand how to choose and apply a licence to the data that they make available. They ask questions like: “What does it mean to license data?”, “What licence should we use?” and “How can we indicate the licence that a dataset is available under?”
People and companies who are consuming data need to understand what they can legally do with the data that they get access with. They ask questions like: “What requirements can a licence place on me?”, “What different licences do publishers use?” and “How can we find out what licence a dataset is available under?”
We have therefore drafted two guides on licensing, with a particular focus on licensing open data:
Before we publish these guides, we would like to have your feedback on whether they address your questions, and where we could improve them. We’ve put them on crocodoc so that you can add comments, but feel free to email or tweet if you prefer.
We’ll later roll your comments into the guides, and publish both the finished guides and a post that summarises the comments we receive.