Blog

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 […]

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 […]

Open Data – Chennai

This is part 2 of 5 of the Open Data India Series. You can read the first post ‘Open Data – Bangalore’ on the OKFN blog. Chennai, formerly Madras, is only a short train ride away from Bangalore. Laura and I hadn’t been intending on travelling to Chennai on this trip, but a mail from […]

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 […]

Public Data Consultations: Making Open Data a Reality

This post is from Lucy Chambers, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation. Earlier this month, the UK Government published the ‘Open Data Consultation Paper’. Its aim is to establish a “culture of openness and transparency in public services” and the Government is turning to the general public for their preferences on how this should […]

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 […]

Opening up linguistic data at the American National Corpus

The following guest post is from Nancy Ide, Professor of Computer Science at Vassar College, Technical Director of the American National Corpus project and member of the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Working Group on Open Linguistic Data. The American National Corpus (ANC) project is creating a collection of texts produced by native speakers of American English […]

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 […]

A free software model for open knowledge

Notes describing the talk on the work of the Open Knowledge Foundation given last week at Jornadas SIG Libre. I was happily surprised to be asked to give this open knowledge talk at an open source software conference. But it makes sense – the free software movement has created the conditions in which an open […]

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 Knowledge Conference (OKCon) 2010: Call for Proposals

The Open Knowledge Conference (OKCon) 2010 Call for Proposals is now open! We would be grateful for help in circulating the call to relevant lists and communities! You can reuse or point to: This blog post Main CFP page Plain text announce (wrapped at 72 characters) Identi.ca post Twitter post Open Knowledge Conference (OKCon) 2010: […]

Macedonian translation of the Open Knowledge Definition (OKD)

We’ve just added a Macedonian translation of the Open Knowledge Definition thanks to Ljube Babunski. http://opendefinition.org/1.0/Makedonski_jazik 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).

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 […]

New report on sharing aid information is now open for comments

We’re pleased to announce the publication of a new report, Unlocking the potential of aid information. The report, by the Open Knowledge Foundation and Aidinfo, looks at how to make information related to international development (i) legally open, (ii) technically open and (iii) easy to find. The report and relevant background information can be found […]

Abusing “Open”: Macmillan’s Open Dictionary

Jonathan recently wrote about the availability of open dictionaries. In a recent comment to that post someone pointed us to Macmillan’s “Open” Dictionary (the reasons for the quotes will soon be apparent). With a sense of excitement I followed the link: “Could it be”, I thought, “That a mainstream dictionary producer has decided that open […]

Open licensing for philanthropic foundations – “Why not?”

Harvard University’s Berkman Center, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the Open Society Institute recently released a report on copyright and open licensing for private philanthropic foundations. The report examines: […] the copyright licensing policies and practices of a group of twelve private foundations. In particular, it looked at the extent […]

New business models for subscription services?

There are a lot of subscription based models around for access to data services. I notice this more since I’ve been working for UK HE/FE. One example of such a service is the SCRAN image archive, another is the Statistical Accounts of Scotland. The subscription-based model has to expose something to prove it’s worth subscribing […]

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 […]

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 […]

Open Data in Iceland

Hjalmar Gislason recently wrote to us to tell us about an initiative to open up material from the Icelandic government and other public institutions. In The Case for Open Access to Public Sector Data he writes: In these public data collections lies tremendous value. The data that has been collected for taxpayers’ money for decades […]

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 […]

Open Software Service Definition Launched

For more than a year we’ve been working with a variety of groups and individuals to fashion a clear definition of ‘openness’ in relation to online, software-based, ‘services’ (think: search engines, webmail, online spreadsheets, etc). The result, launched today, is the Open Software Service Definition: http://www.opendefinition.org/ossd/ Simultaneously released, and to which we are party, the […]

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 […]

Beyond Strong and Weak: Towards a Typology of Open Access

Over the past week or so there has been a flurry of posts about ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ open access, including the following: Strong and weak OA, Peter Suber What’s in a Name? Strong and Weak Open Access, Glyn Moody The Two Forms of OA Have Been Defined: They Now Need Value-Neutral Names, Stevan Harnad Lower […]

Basque Translation of the Open Knowledge Definition (OKD)

We’ve just added a Basque translation of the Open Knowledge Definition – thanks to Gotzon Egia. 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.

Catalan and Spanish Translations of the Open Knowledge Definition (OKD)

Following on from a spate of fresh translations of the Open Knowledge Definition last week, we’ve just added translations in Spanish and Catalan – thanks to Ignasi Labastida i Juan of CC Spain and CC Catalonia. Once again – if you’d like to translate the Definition into another language, of if you’ve already done so, […]

Polish Translation of the Open Knowledge Definition (OKD)

We’re on a bit of a roll with translations of the Open Knowledge Definition! We’ve now got a Polish translation thanks to JarosÅ‚aw Lipszyc. Again – if you’d like to translate the Definition into another language, of if you’ve already done so, please get in touch on our discuss list, or at info at the […]

Danish Translation of the Open Knowledge Definition (OKD)

We’ve now added a Danish translation of the Open Knowledge Definition (OKD) to opendefinition.org – thanks to Peter Froberg. We look foward to adding more translations in the near future. If you would like to help out translating the Definition into another language – please don’t hesitate to get in touch on our discuss list.

Creative Commons adopts ‘Free Cultural Works’ seal of approval

Yesterday Creative Commons announced that their Attribution and Attribution Sharealike licenses will feature a seal of approval and link to Freedom Defined – the Definition of Free Cultural Works. We’ve been in touch with Freedom Defined since May 2006 (we blogged about the project last year) as their aims are so similar to that of […]

Open Definition Advisory Council launched

We are pleased to announce the launch of an Advisory Council for opendefinition.org. The Council will be formally responsible for maintaining and developing the Definitions and associated material found on the Open Definition site – including the Open Knowledge Definition and the Open Service Definition. As many of you will know, these definitions aim to […]

Keeping “Open” Libre

Last week I attended the Jornadas gvSIG, the developer/user gathering for the open source GIS project supported by the regional government in Valencia. There seems to be a very supportive climate towards free software and open licensed data in Spain. I was impressed to hear people from commercial consultancies and local government information and infrastructure […]

The Open Definition and Creative Commons

This chemspider blog post expresses considerable uncertainty as to the respective roles and relationship of the Open (Knowledge/Data) Definition and Creative Commons. This kind of uncertainty, particularly as to whether the OD and CC are in some way competing ‘standards’, is something I’ve increasingly encountered over the last year or so. I therefore really think […]

Towards an Open Service Definition

As mentioned previously on this blog recent developments, particularly the increase in ‘Software as a Service’ approaches, have created the need to think hard about what would constitute an `Free/Open Service’ (as opposed to just plain Free/Open Source software or Free/Open Knowledge). Following extensive discussion in the last couple of months on the okfn-discuss mailing […]