[okfn-discuss] Opening up local government data: APPSI Presentation

Rufus Pollock rufus.pollock at okfn.org
Tue Sep 22 19:10:29 UTC 2009

2009/9/21 CountCulture <countculture at googlemail.com>:
>> Couple of things that would be useful first though:
>> 1. Would it be possible to make explicit the "openness" situation with
>> regard to the data you've got, for example by applying a license such
>> as the PDDL (<http://www.opendatacommons.org/licenses/pddl/>). It is
>> important to remember that free access does not equal openness. Just
>> like for code, open data requires more than just availability, in
>> particular it needs explicit licensing.
> I entirely agree -- that's what I'd like to work towards, although I'm not
> sure I can unilaterally apply an open licence if the data I'm using is not
> open.

I think you want to be clear here about you are licensing: you are
taking data from elsewhere, cleaning it up, normalizing it, and
creating a database.

As the creator of that DB you are in a position to license it.

Obviously, you are reusing existing data/databases then there is a
question as to your ability to license the whole (just like any other
derivative works ...)

However it would still be good to put up a notice saying: for all the
material in which I have any rights I am applying this open license.
To the extent that I reused material from here, here and here you'll
have to consult their licensing agreements.

> Obviously this is a problem when much of the info is 'copyright XXX Council'
> -- which is why we need to get the underlying rights situation sorted out.
> In addition some of the data sets used are not open -- for example the
> population figures are non-commercial, other bits are Click-Use, and still
> further bits are non-commercial share-alike (e.g. local Authority
> boundaries, which I'll be adding soon).

Click-use is (or soon should be) "open". Is the NC SA from OS?

> My plan -- apart from get bodies such as APPSI to push for opening the
> underlying data (primarily local authorities and core infrastructure
> datasets) is to be explicit about what data is under what licence, and then
> we're being as open as we can.

Right. That in itself is useful!

> Once the issues are resolved I plan on making it clear that the database
> rights should be on the db licence that's equivalent to CC share-alike --
> though need to think about whether it will be non-commercial or not (at the
> moment Openly Local is just me and a bit of spare server space so costs
> aren't an issue, but may become so in the future).

There is just such an Attribution Share-Alike license which the OKF's
Jordan Hatcher co-authored:


> 2. Would you mind adding an open data "button":
> <http://www.opendefinition.org/buttons/> to make it even clearer to
> users that the data is open.
> Would love to if we could get the issues above sorted out -- or find a
> solution that allows us to do this.. Any pressure you can put on key people
> gratefully received.

I think the the Open Data button would be appropriate if you are
openly licensing the data/database in which you have rights as long
you make clear that there may be restrictions coming from the
underlying databases from which you have sourced material.



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