Open data without a license isn’t open.
The license, a text that describes how data can and can’t be used, is a must for open data. Without that clear statement of use, it’s impossible to tell if the information isn’t subject to copyright or other restrictions, so you’re using it at risk of litigation and legal challenges.
A good open data license has few restrictions – it allows as many people as possible to use the data with as few conditions as possible. The more conditions on your data, the harder it is to use it with other data.
Let’s see some examples of excellent open data licenses:
- The public domain dedication license asks for nothing, completely free to use;
- The creative commons attribution license asks for a name check, users say where they got the information from;
- The open government license 3.0 is like creative commons, the UK government uses it for open data.
Your license should be clear and clearly visible. Where possible, put your license on a page that links to your open data.
Tip: If you use a tool to manage access to your open data like CKAN, make sure you set the license.
See all the tips in one place: Good Quality Open Data