[okfn-discuss] The Open Knowledge Definition and Surveying Licenses

Rufus Pollock rufus.pollock at okfn.org
Wed Mar 8 16:07:35 UTC 2006

Licensing issues continue to be important issue as evidenced by 
discussion at the recent open content forum and on the geo list. It 
seems inevitable that, just as in open source, there *will be* a 
proliferation of licenses for open knowledge. Thus I think it is 
important to enunciate a set of principles that define what we mean by 
open and that will prevent the concept being devalued. To this end back 
last autumn a first version of an open knowledge definition was produced 
(borrowing very heavily from the open source definition):


It includes requirements in relation to:
   1. Access
   2. Redistribution
   3. Re-Use
   4. Absence of Technological Restriction
   5. Attribution
   6. Integrity
   7. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups
   8. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor
   9. Distribution of License
   10. License Must Not Be Specific to a Package
   11. License Must Not Restrict the Distribution of Other Works

One thing to that would be valuable would be to do a survey of existing 
licenses in different areas (content, geodata etc) and see how they 
measure up. I've made a start here:


It would be great for people to add to this and also to contribute their 
views about the definition.



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