Jordan Hatcher (Open Content Lawyer) and Dr. Charlotte Waelde (University of Edinburgh) have just published the first draft of the Open Data Commons, or the Open Database License. The new license was inspired by the Talis Community License (a draft open license for data from 2006) and its development has been sponsored by Talis.

The Database license limits itself to rights over databases – and hence does not cover rights in database content. A separate draft license, called the Factual Information License is intended to ensure that information that may not fall under the definition of a work in some juristictions is explicitly stated to be open. It stipulates:

2.4 Facts are free. The Licensor takes the position that factual information is not covered by copyright and neighbouring rights. This Licence grants you permission to Use the Work in jurisdictions that may protect the factual information in the Work by copyright, and to cover any other copyrighted information contained in the Work.

The new licenses certainly look to be the most well developed of the options discussed in our Guide to Open Data Licensing.

For further background information, see the Open Data home page at Open Content Lawyer and Paul Miller’s blog post on Nodalities.

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Dr. Jonathan Gray is Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, where he is currently writing a book on data worlds. He is also Cofounder of the Public Data Lab; and Research Associate at the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam) and the médialab (Sciences Po, Paris). More about his work can be found at and he tweets at @jwyg.

1 thought on “Open Database License”

  1. Thanks for the kind words – we certainly do hope that this license will prove useful, and welcome comments and input.
    Did you know that your comment box will not let me insert spaces between words???

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