Announcement – Open Definition 2.1

Today Open Knowledge and the Open Definition Advisory Council are pleased to announce the release of version 2.1 of the Open Definition. The definition “sets out principles that define openness in relation to data and content” and continues to play a key role in supporting the growing open ecosystem.

The Open Definition was first published in 2005 by Open Knowledge and is maintained today by an expert Advisory Council. This new version is a refinement of version 2.0, which was the most significant revision in the Definition’s nearly eleven-year history.

This version is a result of over one year of discussion and consultation with the community including input from experts involved in open data, open access, open culture, open education, open government, and open source. This version continues to adhere to the core principles while strengthening and clarifying the Definition in three main areas.

What’s New

Version 2.1 incorporates the following changes:

  • Section 1.1 Open License or Status, formerly named Open License, has been changed to more clearly and explicitly include works that while not released under a license per se, are still considered open, such as works in the public domain.
  • In Version 2.0, section 1.3 specified the requirement for both machine readability and open formats. In Version 2.1 these requirements are now separated into their own sections 1.3 Machine Readability and 1.4 Open Format.
  • The new 1.4 Open Format section has been strengthened such that in order to be considered open, the work has to be able to be both in a format which places no restrictions, monetary or otherwise and it has to be able to be fully processed by at least one free/libre/open-source software tool. In version 2.0 only one of these conditions was needed to satisfy the requirement.
  • An attribution addendum has been added to recognize the work that the definition is based on.

Version 2.1 also includes several other less significant changes to enhance clarity and better convey the requirements and acceptable conditions.

More Information

Authors

This post was written by Herb Lainchbury, Chair of the Open Definition Advisory Council and Rufus Pollock, President and Founder of Open Knowledge.