Open Data Commons

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A proposed Open Data License.


See also:


"With the funding and support of the information management company Talis, the Open Data Commons project ( ODC) was founded in the autumn of 2007 to provide legal tools for sharing data. This project started through funding licence development by Jordan Hatcher and Dr. Charlotte Waelde of the University of Edinburgh. This resulted in the creation of the Public Domain Dedication and License (PDDL) legal tool which will be maintained by the Open Knowledge a not-for-profit organisation promoting open knowledge. The PDDL dedicates the data and databases to the public domain, a position that offers a wide degree of flexibility for users of data and helps freely enable semantic web projects based on using large amounts of data." (


From [1]:

"The Open Data Commons is a licence agreement intended to allow you to freely share, modify, and use this database while maintaining this same freedom for others. Many databases are covered by copyright, and therefore this document licenses these rights. Some jurisdictions, mainly in Europe, have specific rights that cover databases, and so the Open Data Commons addresses these rights too. Finally for circumstances and territories in which copyright and database rights do not apply, the Open Data Commons is also an agreement in contract for you to act in certain ways in return for accessing this database.

Because databases can have a wide variety of types of contents, this document only governs the rights over the database, and not the contents of the database individually. You should use the Open Data Commons together with another licence for the contents, if the contents have a single set of rights that governs all of them. If the contents have multiple sets of different rights, you should describe what rights govern what contents together in the individual record.

Sometimes the contents of a database, or the database itself, can be covered by other rights not addressed here, and so you advised that you may have to consult other documents or clear other rights before doing activities not covered by this licence." (

Status Update

The Open Data Commons project has now found a new home here at the OKF:

More Information

  1. See the interview with Jordan Hatcher on the Open Data Commons
  2. Open Data Home, "collection of pages and links about the Open Data Commons draft licence. There are two principal licences, the database licence and the factual information licence. Both are collected here."
  3. Open Data Factual Info License, "intended to be applied only to factual information. It is in the same style as the BSD or MIT licences"
  4. Open Data blog, for updates
  5. New Open Data Commons Discuss List,

See also:

  1. Open Data
  2. Open Hardware Licenses
  3. Open Government Data