Blog

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 […]

Why the Open Definition Matters for Open Data: Quality, Compatibility and Simplicity

The Open Definition performs an essential function as a “standard”, ensuring that when you say “open data” and I say “open data” we both mean the same thing. This standardization, in turn, ensures the quality, compatibility and simplicity essential to realizing one of the main practical benefits of “openness”: the greatly increased ability to combine […]

Creative Commons 4.0 BY and BY-SA licenses approved conformant with the Open Definition

This post by Timothy Vollmer, Manager of Policy and Data at Creative Commons, originally appeared on the creativecommons.org website. In November we released version 4.0 of the Creative Commons license suite, and today the Open Definition Advisory Council approved the CC 4.0 Attribution (BY) and Attribution-ShareAlike (BY-SA) International licenses as conformant with the Open Definition. […]

The Open Definition in context: putting open into practice

We’ve seen how the Open Definition can apply to data and content of many types published by many different kinds of organisation. Here we set out how the Definition relates to specific principles of openness, and to definitions and guidelines for different kinds of open data. Why we need more than a Definition The Open […]

Exploring openness and the Open Definition

We’ve set out the basics of what open data means, so here we explore the Open Definition in more detail, including the importance of bulk access to open information, commercial use of open data, machine-readability, and what conditions can be imposed by a data provider. Commercial Use A key element of the definition is that […]

Defining Open Data

Open data is data that can be freely used, shared and built-on by anyone, anywhere, for any purpose. This is the summary of the full Open Definition which the Open Knowledge Foundation created in 2005 to provide both a succinct explanation and a detailed definition of open data. As the open data movement grows, and […]

UK Open Government Licence is now compliant with the Open Definition

On Friday the UK National Archives launched a new version of the Open Government Licence, which is now the default licence used by the UK government to publish the lion’s share of its public sector information. While the announcement hardly made headlines, there is one small addition to the text of the licence that we […]

Protecting the foundations of Open Knowledge

###The foundations of the Foundation The Open Knowledge Definition (OKD) was one of the Open Knowledge Foundation’s very first projects: drafted in 2005, 1.0 in 2006. By stipulating what Open means, the OKD has been foundational to the OKF’s work, as illustrated by this several-years-old diagram of the Open Knowledge “stack”. Knowing your foundations seems […]

Announcing the Open Definition Licenses Service

We’re pleased to announce a simple new service from the Open Knowledge Foundation as part of the Open Definition Project: the (Open) Licenses Service. The service is ultra simple in purpose and function. It provides: Information on licenses for open data, open content, and open-source software in machine readable form (JSON) A simple web API […]

Open Knowledge Definition translated into Telugu (తెలుగు)

The following post is by Theodora Middleton, the OKF blog editor. We are pleased to announce that the Open Knowledge Definition has now been translated into Telugu (తెలుగు), thanks to the hard work of Sridhar Gutam. You can find this at: http://opendefinition.org/okd/telugu/ The definition has now been translated into 27 languages. If you’d like to […]

We need international open government data principles

The following post is from Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation. We need a set of international open government data principles. Why? Because as the ‘open data‘ meme travels around the world – unlocking information from local, regional and national public bodies as it goes – we want to make sure that […]

Bulgarian translation of the Open Knowledge Definition (OKD)

The following post is from Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation. We are pleased to now have a Bulgarian translation of the Open Knowledge Definition thanks to Peio Popov. You can find this at: http://www.opendefinition.org/okd/bulgarian/ If you’d like to translate the Definition into another language, or if you’ve already done so, please […]

data.gouv.fr to promote free public data

The following guest post is from Regards Citoyens, a French organisation that promotes open data. Three months ago, the French Prime Minister announced officially the creation of the EtaLab governmental team, dedicated to the future data.gouv.fr. On Friday May 27th, two official texts have been published: a decree (fr) that defines new juridic rules regarding […]

What do you think about Norway’s new open data license?

The following guest post is from Sverre Andreas Lunde-Danbolt who works for the Department for ICT and renewal in the Norwegian Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs, and who is a member of the OKF’s Working Group on Open Government Data The Norwegian Ministry of Government Administration and Reform have just sent a […]

Open Biblio Principles Announced

The following post is by Mark McGillivrary, a member of the Open Knowledge Foundation Working Group on Open Bibliographic Data. Last week the Open Biblio Principles were launched by the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Working Group on Open Bibliographic Data. The principles are the product of six months of development and discussion within the working group […]

What “open data” means – and what it doesn’t

The following post is from Melanie Chernoff, Public Policy Manager for Red Hat. It was originally published on opensource.com. Last week, an article in the Wall Street Journal talked about the Open Data Partnership, which “will allow consumers to edit the interests, demographics and other profile information collected about them. It also will allow people […]

Richard Poynder interviews Jordan Hatcher

Open Acccess journalist extraordinaire Richard Poynder recently interviewed the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Jordan Hatcher about data licensing, the public domain, and lots more. An excerpt is reproduced below. The full version is available on Richard’s website. Over the past twenty years or so we have seen a rising tide of alternative copyright licences emerge — […]

Open Licenses vs Public Licenses

The following post is from Jordan Hatcher, a Director at the Open Knowledge Foundation and founder of the Open Data Commons project. It was originally posted on his blog. Let’s face it, we often have a definition problem. It’s critical to distinguish “open licenses” from “public licenses” when discussing IP licensing, especially online — mostly […]

Update on Open Source Initiative’s adoption of the Open Knowledge Definition

A few weeks back we blogged about Russ Nelson’s proposals for the Open Source Initiative (OSI) to adopt the Open Knowledge Definition, our standard for openness in relation to content and data. Russ has written back to us with some notes and questions from a session on this at OSCON: Okay, so, as promised, here […]

Belarusian translation of the Open Knowledge Definition (OKD)

We’ve just added a Belarusian translation of the Open Knowledge Definition thanks to Patricia Clausnitzer! http://www.opendefinition.org/okd/bielaruskaja/ If you’d like to translate the Definition into another language, or if you’ve already done so, please get in touch on our discuss list, or on info at the OKF’s domain name (okfn dot org).

Should the Open Source Initiative adopt the Open Knowledge Definition?

Russ Nelson, License Approval Chair at the Open Source Initiative (OSI), recently proposed a session at OSCON about OSI adopting a definition for open data: I’m running a BOF at OSCON on Wednesday night July 21st at 7PM, with the declared purpose of adopting an Open Source Definition for Open Data. Safe enough to say […]

Why Share-Alike Licenses are Open but Non-Commercial Ones Aren’t

It is sometimes suggested that there isn’t a real difference in terms of “openness” between share-alike (SA) and non-commercial (NC) clauses — both being some restriction on what the user of that material can do, and, as such, a step away from openness. This is not true. A meaningful distinction can be drawn between share-alike […]

Russian translation of the Open Knowledge Definition (OKD)

We’ve just added a Russian translation of the Open Knowledge Definition thanks to Maxim Dubinin. http://www.opendefinition.org/okd/russkiy If you’d like to translate the Definition into another language, or if you’ve already done so, please get in touch on our discuss list, or on info at the OKF’s domain name (okfn dot org).

Norwegian translation of the Open Knowledge Definition (OKD)

We are pleased to now have a Norwegian translation of the Open Knowledge Definition thanks to Svein-Magnus Sørensen, Harald Groven and Olav Anders Øvrebø. http://www.opendefinition.org/okd/norsk_bokmaal/ If you’d like to translate the Definition into another language, or if you’ve already done so, please get in touch on our discuss list, or on info at the OKF’s […]

Chinese translation of the Open Knowledge Definition (OKD)

We’ve just added a Chinese translation of the Open Knowledge Definition thanks to Mao, Ching-Chen at Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan. http://www.opendefinition.org/okd/chinese If you’d like to translate the Definition into another language, or if you’ve already done so, please get in touch on our discuss list, or on info at the OKF’s domain name (okfn […]

The cake test of freedom

At last week’s Jornadas SIG Libre in Girona, Ivan Sanchez of the Spanish OpenStreetmap community told me about the cake test of data freedom. What is the cake test? Easy: geographic data, or a map, is open only if someone can make you a gift of a cake with your map on it. The cake […]

UK Government announces lots of new open data!

This morning UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced plans to open up lots more UK Government data! His speech describes plans to put much more detailed information online under open licenses in 2010. This includes: public services performance data – including on crime, hospitals and schools new transport data geospatial data from Ordnance survey (as […]

Open data on cities: an international round up

Over the last few months there have been lots of exciting announcements about open data from cities around the world. We decided to take a look at what is currently out there – in particular taking note of: Whether datasets are open as in the Open Knowledge Definition – i.e. whether they explicitly say that […]

Swedish translation of the Open Knowledge Definition (OKD)

We’ve just added a Swedish translation of the Open Knowledge Definition thanks to Peter Krantz (who’s work on open data in Sweden we recently blogged about) and Staffan Malmgren. http://opendefinition.org/1.0/Svenska If you’d like to translate the Definition into another language, or if you’ve already done so, please get in touch on our discuss list, or […]

French translation of the Open Knowledge Definition (OKD)

We’ve just added a French translation of the Open Knowledge Definition thanks to Caroline Ker and Séverine Dusollier at the University of Namur, Belgium! http://opendefinition.org/1.0/Francais If you’d like to translate the Definition into another language, or if you’ve already done so, please get in touch on our discuss list, or at info (at) the OKF’s […]

Open Everything Berlin + CC Salon Berlin

After the success of open everything Berlin last December (see documentation), the newthinking network and CC Salon Berlin teamed up to put on another event in Berlin last night: CC Salon Berlin and openeverything focus – Feb. 26 (CC Blog) openeverything focus + CC Salon (Michelle Thorne’s blogpost) I was invited to speak – and […]

Comments on the Science Commons Protocol for Implementing Open Access Data

Here I briefly comment on the Science Commons Protocol for Implementing Open Access Data as the protocol strongly advocates a position of ‘PD’-only. As will be apparent from the earlier essay on Open Data: Openness and Licensing I do not entirely share this view. The Protocol gives 3 basic reasons for preferring the ‘PD’ approach […]

Facts and Databases

[This post is an addendum to the earlier essay on Open Data: Openness and Licensing] It is important to be clear that any IP ‘rights’ in data(bases) are not ‘rights’ in the facts those data represent but in the ‘data collection’ (or database). Here I try to explain the difference (fairly crudely) with some examples. […]

Open Data: Openness and Licensing

Why does this matter? Why bother about openness and licensing for data? After all they don’t matter in themselves: what we really care about are things like the progress of human knowledge or the freedom to understand and share. However, open data is crucial to progress on these more fundamental items. It’s crucial because open […]

Interview with Rufus Pollock on NetSquared

Jed Sundwall of Netsquared just published an interview with Rufus Pollock, co-founder of the Open Knowledge Foundation. The interview includes discussion about the distinction between price and value, about the Open Knowledge Definition, about CKAN, about decentralised approaches to working with large quantities of data, about packaging for knowledge and about ‘Shiny Front End Syndrome’. […]

Icelandic Translation of the Open Knowledge Definition (OKD)

Over the holiday we added an Icelandic translation of the Open Knowledge Definition! Many thanks to Hjalmar Gislason and Icelandic Open Data! If you’d like to translate the Definition into another language, or if you’ve already done so, please get in touch on our discuss list, or at info (at) the OKF’s domain name.

Greek Translation of the Open Knowledge Definition (OKD)

We’ve just added a Greek translation of the Open Knowledge Definition! Many thanks to Ioannis Doukas of King’s College London and the University of Athens! If you’d like to translate the Definition into another language, or if you’ve already done so, please get in touch on our discuss list, or at info (at) the OKF’s […]

Mike Linksvayer of Creative Commons joins Open Definition Advisory Council

We are pleased to welcome Mike Linksvayer, Vice President of Creative Commons, onto the Advisory Council for opendefinition.org. The Advisory Council, as we announced in February is the body formally responsible for maintaining and developing the Definitions and associated material found on the opendefinition.org site – including the Open Knowledge Definition and the Open Software […]

Italian Translation of the Open Knowledge Definition (OKD)

We’ve just added an Italian translation of the annotated Open Knowledge Definition – thanks to Primavera De Filippi, Andrea Glorioso and Juan Carlos De Martin at the NEXA Center for Internet & Society, Politecnico di Torino! If you’d like to translate the Definition into another language, or if you’ve already done so, please get in […]

Dispatches from Digistan

Chris Puttick of OpenArchaeology sends news of the Digital Standards Organisation: A new group is being formed to promote open digital standards, starting with a declaration regarding the importance of digital standards being truly open. Part of Digistan’s effort to promote understanding, development, and adoption of open digital standards implies a clear definition of what […]