[okfn-be] okfn-be Digest, Vol 3, Issue 7

Bart Van Loon bart at zeropoint.it
Thu Dec 8 16:49:51 UTC 2011

It was Thu Dec 08 at 02:43PM when Patrick Hochstenbach wrote:
> Is there a good definition of what 'open' means in 'open data'? In the
> library world we know the 'public domain' which is free of copyright
> and there is 'open access' where there is still copyright but you have
> a quite non-restrictive license for re-use.

I'm not familiar with definitions of `open' in this context, but I think
it's similar to the `free' in `free software'.

Software is free if the license provides you the following four basic
    * freedom to study
    * freedom to use
    * freedom to modify
    * freedom to distribute

It doesn't mean it's in the public domain, however. It can perfectly
well have a clear owner and stringent IP ownership applied to it. It
doesn't make it less `free' however.

Similarly, open data can perfectly well be owned by someone (as opposed
to being in the public domain), and still be open. As long as I can
study, use, modify and distribute the data, it's open to me.

Bart Van Loon

    Pakistan Fact #18: Pakistan is the world's nineth largest English speaking

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