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Open Knowledge Foundation Newsletter No. 11

July 2, 2009 in Newsletter

Open Knowledge Foundation Newsletter No. 11 has just been sent out:

Open Knowledge Foundation Newsletter No. 11

Welcome to the eleventh Open Knowledge Foundation newsletter!

Contents:

  • The OKF turns five and we need your support!
  • Open Database License (ODbL) goes 1.0
  • European Open Data Inventory + Summit
  • Launch of the Open Data Grid
  • New developments on Public Domain Works
  • Other news in brief
  • Thanks to our volunteers!
  • Support the Open Knowledge Foundation
  • Further information

THE OKF TURNS FIVE – AND WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!

This month the Open Knowledge Foundation is five years old. Over those last five years we’ve done much to promote open access to information — from sonnets to stats, genes to geodata — not only in the form of specific projects like Open Shakespeare and Public Domain Works but also in the creation of tools such as KnowledgeForge and the Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network, standards such as the Open Knowledge Definition, and events such as OKCon, designed to benefit the wider open knowledge community. (To find out more about what we’ve been up to in the last year, you can read our latest annual report [1]).

While we have achieved a lot, we believe we can do much, much more. We are therefore reaching out to our community and asking you to help us take our vision further.

Our aim: at least a 100 supporters committed to making regular, ongoing donations of £5 (EUR 6, $7.50) or more a month.

These funds will be essential in expanding and sustaining our work by allowing us to invest in infrastructure and employ modest central support. To pledge yourself as one of those supporters all you need to do is take 30 seconds to sign up to our “100 supporters” pledge at:

We will always be a not-for-profit organization, built on the work of passionate volunteers. But with these additional funds, we believe we can make our efforts go much, much further. Please consider becoming a supporter and help us take our work forward.

OPEN DATABASE LICENSE (ODbL) GOES 1.0

Open Data Commons, an OKF affiliated project, has now released v1.0 of the Open Database License (ODbL) after 6 months of consultation. The Open Database License (ODbL) is an open share-alike license for data and databases.

This license, the first of its kind, is a major step forward for open data as there are few license currently available which are appropriate to data and databases and none which provide for share-alike (existing share-alike licenses such as the GPL, GFDL and CC By-SA are all unsuitable for data).

This work has been led by an OKF Board Member, Jordan Hatcher, and has benefited over the last 6 months of consultation from extensive comments and feedback from the open data community, especially those in the Open Street Map project.

EUROPEAN OPEN DATA INVENTORY + SUMMIT

The First European Open Data Summit in Brussels brought together journalists, researchers, civic hackers, and representatives from European institutions for two days of documenting and building on documents and datasets from European institutions and member states. Work from the event received coverage from the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times.

We presented our work on the European Open Data Inventory, which includes just under 150 packages. You can see these under the ‘eutransparency’ tag on CKAN:

For each package we looked for legal information and whether or not items could be downloaded in bulk – providing direct download links where possible. Data includes everything from budget information to statistics to postcode databases.

LAUNCH OF THE OPEN DATA GRID

We started a distributed storage project, aiming to provide distributed storage infrastructure for OKF and other open knowledge projects. After researching various technical options, we’ve launched an Open Data Grid based on Allmydata’s open-source “Tahoe” system. Anyone can store open data on the grid, or start running a storage node.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS ON PUBLIC DOMAIN WORKS!

We have now completed a major load of data into the Public Domain Works database. There are now 125318 persons, 12840 items and 299141 works in the database. The data we have there comes primarily from two sources: people and book data from Philip Harper’s NGCOBA and recordings data from the online discographies provided by KCL’s CHARM project.

We also have a load more sound recordings data (~ 600k items) almost ready to go courtesy of Edward Betts and the Open Library. (And we are yet to even get started on the BBC GRAMS data …).

Also work on the public domain calculators is still ticking over. Gisle Hannemyr recently put together a first draft of a copyright flowchart for Norway.

OTHER NEWS IN BRIEF

THANKS TO OKF VOLUNTEERS!

As usual, a big thank you to our volunteers and to our extended virtual community for all of their valuable input!

SUPPORT THE OPEN KNOWLEDGE FOUNDATION

A donation to the Open Knowledge Foundation would greatly help us with our overhead costs, including hosting (currently around £1000/year) and project development. To find out more about supporting our work, please visit:

FURTHER INFORMATION

If you would like to know more about what we are up to, please take a look at our active projects page.

If you are interested in participating in any of the OKF’s projects, please see our participate page, or join the OKF discuss list.

For further news and comments, see our blog:

You can follow us on Identi.ca or Twitter at:

The Open Knowledge Foundation is a not-for-profit organization. It is incorporated in the United Kingdom as a company limited by guarantee with company number 5133759. The registered office is 37 Panton Street, Cambridge, CB2 1HL, UK.

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