Open Data Commons; new draft attribution licence for data/databases

This item was posted on Peter Suber’s blog a couple of weeks back requesting futher circulation.  It points to draft text for a “Open Data Commons Attribution License (ODC-By)

The draft licence is still open for comments.

According to the Peter Suber blog the work on this licence is addressing the need for:

“.. an open license for data/databases that provides for attribution but does not impose share-alike requirements. …”

The Open Data Commons website has some FAQs about why data licences are important.  They say:

“…licensing and definitions are important even though they are only a small part of the overall picture. If we get them wrong they will keep on getting in the way of everything else. If we get them right we can stop worrying about them and focus our full energies on other things.”

Nicely put!  Further on they explain:

“…you do need this legal stuff. Whether one likes it or not there are a whole bunch of jurisdictions in the world where there are IP rights in data(bases). Thus if you want your data to be open, even if that means public domain, you need to apply a license (or something very like a license).

For licence text already available visit

2 responses to “Open Data Commons; new draft attribution licence for data/databases

  1. I think that if you really want to operate within the real spirit of “open access”, an open access licence may create more problems than not – just to mention a few, compatibility among jurisdictions (unless you select one in particular), database rights v copyright, what is database and what rights it attracts, licence v contractual arrangements, etc. The list is long and the debate complex. However, it seems that the options for now are either license “openly but with fewer restrictions as possible putting in place mechanisms to control quality and accuracy of the data” or “in the traditional style…

  2. so you would consider the open access licence is the lesser of two evils?

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