[okfn-discuss] CKAN questions

Rufus Pollock rufus.pollock at okfn.org
Tue Dec 18 15:25:51 UTC 2007

Just to follow up on Jonathan's comments:

Francis Irving wrote:
> Just found a new data set (pharmaceuticals prices for international
> development), and thought I'd add it to CKAN.
> http://www.who.int/hiv/amds/price/hdd/index.aspx
> (you can search with all wildcards to get all the data, although it is
> a huge page)
> The problem is I don't know the license. The WHO site isn't very
> helpful, to the extent of not even having a contact form.

That's rather typical.

> Now, clearly this is still a useful dataset. It would seem a shame
> not to add it to CKAN just because it has no clear license. Because
> most good data won't have such a license in our current data licensing
> climate.

This has been a frequent issue. At present my view is we should take a 
pretty liberal approach and still add packages to CKAN even where they 
are not "fully" open or where the license is not specified (though 
generally I only do this where one thinks the dataset either should be 
or actually is open -- e.g. where all the data is posted on a website 
but the license is absent).

> Do I just add it as "Non-OKD Compliant: Other" on CKAN? And try and
> contact them to complain about the lack of a license / public domain
> assertion?

Yes. That's exactly what I do. In fact I'm using a specific tag for this:



You can also see there are a bunch of other license related tags:


> What do we do in a world without the culture of good licensing?  Both
> to make that culture, and to deal with it meanwhile.

I wonder what it was like with F/OSS in the early days? I imagine that 
again there people put out a lot of material without bothering to put an 
explicit license on their work and that things improved over time as 
people became more aware. As you say we're definitely going to have to 
work to improve awareness of these issues and to encourage people to 
automatically attach a license. (By the way if you are looking for form 
letters there is some material that might be useful on: 



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