In 2009, Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web recorded the following TED Presentation about Linked Open Data.
This video describes his next idea for a use for the Web, where Data is shared and can flow freely, published by people under open licenses.
On the L4LOD Vocabulary Specification 0.2 is Information about the different licenses over the data sets of the LOD cloud.
I’ve shared links to and information about the Open licenses that data there has been published under below so that the information can be shared and it can help encourage others to create using Linked Data, and to share data under Open data licenses like the ones described.
The Creative Commons website isn’t aimed at replacing copyright, but instead describes different types of licenses that you can attach to creative works that you create that are protected by copyright, and these licenses describe the kinds of rights others have in using those works. These licenses were created in a way that is readable by people and by machines, and each license should be read carefully before being applied by a copyright holder for them to understand what rights in the works they are giving to other people.
Choosing a Creative Common’s license, you are defining and describing the conditions that you are enabling people to use material that you own the copyright in.
Attribution is a requirement of how a user must give credit for the use of the material and can require linking back to the source of the material and the license used, including the title of the work and its author, and stating whether or not changes were made to the work. A Creative Commons license can state whether the work can be used commercially or can only be used non-commercially.
It also tells whether a work can be used in a derivative manner, being remixed or reshaped somehow. The following are four license types that a copyright holder in a work can release the content under. You should read these licenses carefully, and have someone with some legal training available to explain them to you more fully if you have questions about them.
Creative Commons Attribution
Creative Comons Attribution Share-Alike
Creative Commons CCZero
Creative Commons Non-Commercial Attribution
Public Domain works are creations where intellectual property law such as copyright doesn’t apply to them because it is considered to be a property that belongs to the public, and is not subject to being copyrighted.
Copyright may have expired on these works or it may have been created by the government, in a manner where the ownership of the property could be said to belong to the government, in a work for hire manner by the people who created the work – for example, the posters created under the WPA program in the United States
Open Data Commons
“Open data is data that can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone – subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and sharealike.” ~ From the Open Data Handbook.
Much Linked Open Data is Open Data that originates from the Government. If you are potentially interested in using this data in a work online involving linked data, you should learn about your rights to use this data by reading the Open Data Handbook.
The Open Data Commons Group recommends that data be released with a license that tells others how it can be used, and offers the following descriptions of licenses:
ODC Public Domain Dedication and Licence (PDDL)
Open Data Commons Open Database License (ODbL)
Open Data Commons Attribution License
GNU Free Documentation
The authors of this licensing approach have this to say about it:
This License is a kind of “copyleft”, which means that derivative works of the document must themselves be free in the same sense. It complements the GNU General Public License, which is a copyleft license designed for free
This licensing approach was developed for free software, and the document version is intended for documents that might go with such free software. What they tell us is of use that can be much broader:
But this License is not limited to software manuals; it can be used for any textual work, regardless of subject matter or whether it is published as a printed book. We recommend this License principally for works whose purpose is instruction or reference
One of the strengths of the Semantic Web is how data is shared freely in Open Data formats. The ‘O’ in LOD may stand for “Open” as in “Linked Open Data”, but it also stands for “Opportunity.” There’s a lot of data available out there offered through several Open formats just waiting to be used.
Other Linked Data Resources
A Hat Tip and a Thanks to Barbara Starr who suggested creating a post looking at Open Licenses for Linked Data, after making me aware that there weren’t many resources available on the topic.