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Open Education License Draft

Yesterday Dr. David Wiley of Open Content published the Open Education License Draft. Before the text of the draft itself he relates some of his thoughts and experiences relating to open licenses from a decade of promoting open content. Though wary of the proliferation and politics of open licenses, he suggests that there is a […]

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The Open Library and Versioned Data

The Internet Archive has recently launched a beta version of The Open Library. A demo can be found here and the Open Library book can be read here. It is inspired by the idea of a “library that makes all the published works of humankind available to everyone in the world”. Initially it will consist […]

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We need an Open Service Definition

There’s a buzz at GUADEC, an open source computer desktop conference in Birmingham right now, about the idea of the Online Desktop. Increasingly we all use web services rather than local applications, and store our own personal knowledge in other people’s proprietary formats and software. GMail rather than Outlook, Flickr rather than iPhoto. Just as […]

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‘Voyages into publisher copyright’

Peter Murray-Rust of the Unilever Centre for Molecular Informatics, Cambridge, has recently been looking into the licensing practices and access policies of publishers of science journals. He has particularly focused on the publishers of chemistry journals who say they endorse Open Access publishing, or what has come to be known as ‘Open Choice’ publishing, whereby […]

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Open Knowledge Foundation Newsletter No. 2

Welcome to the second Open Knowledge Foundation newsletter. Scroll below for information about: Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN) Guide to Open Data Licensing Open Text Book iCommons 2007 COMPREHENSIVE KNOWLEDGE ARCHIVE NETWORK (CKAN) Last week we launched the Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN for short) which you can find at: http://www.ckan.net/ CKAN is a registry […]

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The Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN) Launched Today

After a year of (off and on) development we are delighted today to announce the official launch of the Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN for short): http://www.ckan.net/. CKAN is a registry of open knowledge packages and projects — be that a set of Shakespeare’s works, a global population density database, the voting records of MPs, […]

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Guide to Open Data Licensing

Over the last month we’ve been working to produce a Guide to Open Data Licensing. As the name should make clear this is a guide to licensing data aimed particularly at those who want to make their data open. The guide is currently located on the wiki so that anyone can edit and update it: […]

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Open Textbook Project Launched

Today we are pleased to announce the launch of Open Textbook, a place to list and keep track of news about textbooks that are open in accordance with the Open Knowledge Definition — i.e. free to use, reuse, and redistribute. We welcome participation in the project and if anyone has a textbook or notes they’d […]

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Open Knowledge Foundation Annual Report 2006-2007

Today we published our 2006-2007 annual report that details some of what we have been up to over the last year. The following is taken from the introduction to that report. Introduction In May this year the Open Knowledge Foundation celebrated its third birthday. Much has changed in that time and the last year is […]

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iCommons 2007: Retrospective Reflections

The iCommons conference in Dubrovnik, where I’ve been for the last few days, finished yesterday. This has been a great event (a big well done to Heather Ford and all the other organizers) and I’ve had the chance to talk to a very large number of interesting people — renewing old acquaintances and making new […]

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Giving us our own information

Yesterday, the UK’s Cabinet Office published an important new review of Public Sector Information. It’s a fat document to read through, but it oozes with ideas and stories (many no doubt from readers of this blog) about the importance of open data. The obvious question is, what will the Government do with it at all […]

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Euro Directive on Re-Use of Public Sector Information: What Is Actually Happening at the Local Level?

John Gray has recently been conducting some rather interesting research on the degree of re-use actually being achieved at local government level in the UK pursuant to the Euro Directive on the Re-Use of Public Sector Information (Statutory Instrument SI 2005/1515) which came into force in July 2005. The aim of the directive was to […]

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Open Knowledge Foundation Newsletter No. 1

Welcome to the first Open Knowledge Foundation newsletter. Following is a glimpse of what we’ve been up to in recent months. OPEN KNOWLEDGE 1.0 Open Knowledge 1.0 took place on Saturday 17th March at Limehouse Town Hall in London. Over 70 people came to hear the panels and participate in the open space. There were […]

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Announcing CC-Salon London: June 28th

Creative Commons, the Open Rights Group and Free Culture UK are pleased to announce the first London CC-Salon event, to be held in Shoreditch on Thursday 28th June 2007. The CC Salon is a monthly event focused on building a community of artists and developers around Creative Commons licenses, standards, and technology, and have been […]

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AMEE: The Open CO2 Emissions Platform

One of the highpoints of XTech last week was the presentation of Gavin Starks about AMEE (Avoiding Mass Extinction Engine). AMEE is a “a platform for collaboration on Climate Change and Energy Efficiency”. It combines together a whole bunch of CO2 emissions data (including data from the UK government) with modelling code and assumptions to […]

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XTech 2007

Last week I was at the XTech conf along with Jo Walsh in order to present in the Open Data track. We built on our recent discussion to argue for the fundamental importance of componentization in developing the Open Data/Knowledge ecosystem — you can find the slides of our talk (entitled Open Data and Componentization) […]

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What Do We Mean by Componentization (for Knowledge)?

Background Nearly a year ago I wrote a short essay entitled The Four Principles of (Open) Knowledge Development in which I proposed that the four key features features of a successful (open) knowledge development process were that it was: Incremental Decentralized Collaborative Componentized As I emphasized at the time the most important feature — and […]

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Public understanding of the ‘public domain’

Last Tuesday 17th April i went to my first Own-It event – ‘Dead or Alive: Whose art work is up for grabs?’ – and was very happy to see a roomful of artists and creative types discussing the ins and outs of copyright law. I was however kinda surprised to hear their IP-expert solicitor use […]

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How to Develop Geodata Domain Models

Jo Walsh (who’s also a member of the Open Knowledge Foundation) has written a great post over on the mappinghacks blog about the development a new data model for OpenStreetMap. Though focused on the issue of modelling geodata the points she raises, particularly in relation to ‘Audit’ functionality (change tracking, versioning etc), are applicable to […]

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New Version (v0.4) of Open Economics Released

This is the fourth release of the Open Economics project and the first that has been deemed ‘worthy’ of a full release announcement. The Open Economics project provides data storage and visualization for economics data as well as associated web services and assorted modelling code. The project home page is: http://www.okfn.org/econ/ while the open economics […]

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v0.4 of Open Shakespeare Released

A new version of open shakespeare is out. Get it via the code page: http://www.openshakespeare.org/code/ Changelog Annotation of texts (js-based in browser) (ticket:20, ticket:21) (http://www.openshakespeare.org/2007/04/10/annotation-is-working/) Switch to unicode for internal string handling (resolves ticket:23: some texts breaking the viewer) Add functional tests for the web interface (ticket:11) Substantial improvements to speed of concordance (ticket:22) (http://www.openshakespeare.org/2007/01/03/improvements-to-the-concordance/) […]

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v0.4 of Open Shakespeare Released

We’ve been doing more work on the Open Shakespeare project with the result that a new version (v0.4) is ready for release (full details including the Changelog can be found below). For those unfamiliar with the project, Open Shakespeare has two basic aims. First, to provide a simple but compelling open knowledge exemplar — and […]

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PlanningAlerts.com — Opening up UK Planning Application Data

Back at the Civic Info forum in November Richard Pope presented his initial work on scraping planning application data from local council websites. This was a classic case where the original providers of the data did not make it available in an open form that was easy to use and reuse (it was often just […]

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Annotation is Working!

After another push over the last few days I’ve got the web annotation system for Open Shakespeare operational (we’ve been hacking on this on and off since back in December). To see the system in action visit: http://demo.openshakespeare.org/view?name=phoenix_and_the_turtle_gut&format=annotate Quite a bit of effort has been made to decouple the annotation system from Open Shakespeare so […]

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Presentation at Edinburgh Conference on Copyright and Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences

As posted about previously, last Friday I was in Edinburgh to attend the AHRB/British Academy Conference on Copyright and Research in the Humanities and the Social Sciences. I took part in the ‘Copyright Users’ panel and my presentation (in plain html), entitled The Need for More Openness, is now online. The event produced some really […]

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Copyright not applicable to geodata?

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve heard new questions and opinions about open licensing of geographic information, coming from several different directions. Specifically: Local and regional authorities in Italy and in New Zealand among others, have been looking into whether it is appropriate to use a Creative Commons license for geodata. Richard Fairhurst of […]

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Copyright and Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences Conference

I’ll be speaking on the Copyright Users panel at the Copyright and Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences conference which takes place this Friday (30th March 2007) in Edinburgh. The event is being jointly organised by The British Academy and the AHRC Research Centre for Studies in Intellectual Property and Technology Law at the […]

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Response to OfCom’s Public Service Publisher Consultation

The Open Knowledge Foundation made a joint response in association with the [Open Rights Group](http://www.openrightsgroup.org and Free Culture UK) to OfCom’s Public Service Publisher consultation (officially titled: A new approach to public service content in the digital media age). The Response The founding of a Public Service Publisher (PSP) is an opportunity to make a […]

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Some Statistics

We’ve been busy hacking away and as a result we now have some rough statistics: Composers whose works are out of copyright. Of the 1083 composers listed in the data kindly donated to us by Philip Harper we estimate that, as of January 1st 2007: Out of Copyright: 263 In Copyright: 762 Status Unknown: 58 […]

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Is Citizendium Not Open?

Following a link from Peter Suber’s ever-valuable Open Access News I read Larry Sanger’s blog entry We aren’t Wikipedia (Citizendium blog, March 21, 2007) which lists the various ways in which Citizendium differs from Wikipedia. This made interesting reading but my eye was especially caught by these two items: To be confirmed: Our license disallows […]

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Open Knowledge 1.0 Has Happened

Open Knowledge 1.0 took place last Saturday at Limehouse Town Hall in London. Over 70 people came to hear the panels and participate in the open space. Material (including speaker presentations) and related links from the event are being posted online at http://www.okfn.org/okcon/after/. We’ve had excellent feedback and in my opinion (though of course I […]

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The Nature of Information

“We are moving towards a world in which all information is software and all software is information.”

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Storing and Visualizing Open Data: II

Back in June last year we posted about a demo site we’d put together to experiment with storing and visualizing open data. Recently several new sites have appeared doing web-based visualization, the most prominent of which are Many Eyes from IBM’s visualization research department and swivel. In both cases it appears that the code isn’t […]

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Open Knowledge 1.0 Nearly Here

Open Knowledge 1.0, which takes place on Saturday March the 17th at Limehouse Town Hall in London, is now just over a week away. While there are still some places left we are nearing capacity so, if you would like to come, we advise you to register as soon as possible via: http://www.okfn.org/okcon/register/ Open Knowledge […]

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Berlin Open Access Conference No. 5: From Practice to Impact: Consequences on Knowledge Dissemination

The next Open Access conference in the Berlin Declaration follow-up series (the 5th) will take place September 19 – 21, 2007 at the University of Padua. The preliminary programme includes: … c) Open Access and the e-science: how to support the free circulation of scientific raw data to facilitate cooperation and effective reuse; d) e-publishing: […]

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8.4 Million Grant to University of Manchester to Expand Semi-Open Data Repository

According to a press release yesterday the University of Manchester received a further 8.4 Million GBP of funding from the ESRC to continue and expand its MIMAS service which provides students and researchers with free access to social science data: The billions of data items managed by the School of Social Sciences and Manchester Information […]

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Collaborative Development of Data

$ This version: 2007-02-15 (First version 2006-05-24) $ We already have some fairly good working processes for collaborative development of unstructured text: the two most prominent examples being source code of computer programs and wikis for general purpose content (encyclopedias etc). However these tools perform poorly (or not at all) when we come to structured […]

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Free Cultural Works Definition v1.0 Released

Having been working on the very similar Open Knowledge Defintion since Summer 2005 (with a v1.0 released in September last year) we were very interested when http://freedomdefined.org/ launched last May. Now after ten months of work they’ve released a stable, 1.0, version of what is now termed the “Free Cultural Works Definition”. Though having a […]

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Open Context Officially Launched

The Open Context project, “a free, open access resource for the electronic publication of primary field research from archaeology and related disciplines”, was officially launched back on January the 29th: In April 2006, we proudly launched the Beta version of Open Context, our new open access publication system that enables researchers to distribute their primary […]

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Copyright and the Digital Age

I authored the following short essay for publication in a pamphlet produced by the RSA entitled Promoting innovation and rewarding creativity: A balanced intellectual property framework for the digital age. The pamphlet was published at the beginning of January and along with my piece included items by Matthew Taylor (Chief Executive of the RSA), Lynne […]

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Open Knowledge Web Buttons: Get Them Now

Over the last couple of years we’ve done a lot of work to get a clear and clean definition of what open knowledge is in the form of the Open Knowledge Definition. This provides a core set of principles defining openness independent of any particular set of licenses similar to the way the open source […]

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Porting Marginalia Annotation to Python

Adding annotation support to the texts in Open Shakespeare is the main item for the next 0.4 release. This is a rather large undertaking and the last 2 months has seen substantial work on the first stage in the form of porting Geof Glass’ marginalia into a standalone python package named annotater that can then […]

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Zoetropes and Nickelodeons: A response to OFCOM’s ‘Public Service Publisher’ proposal

At Rufus Pollock of the Open Knowledge Foundation’s command (‘It’s your civic duty!’) I decided to accept an invitation to the riverside HQ of OFCOM, the UK’s independent regulatory body for television, radio, telcoms and wireless, to participate in a discussion about what the UK’s putative ‘Public Service Publisher’ (PSP) should be. It seems that […]

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An Open Search Service: Regulating Search the Open Way

The inspiration for writing this, as well as much of the information contained herein, came from the search Roundtable which took place at the IDEI Toulouse ‘Conference on the Software and Internet Industries’ on January 20th 2007. An earlier version of this essay as well as notes from the Roundtable can be found in this […]

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Thinking about Annotation

Annotation means the adding of comments/notes/etc to an underlying resource. For the present I’ll focus on the situation where the underlying resource is textual (as opposed to being an image, or a piece of film or some data). Various things to consider when implementing an annotation/comment system: Addressing and atomisation: Are annotations specific to particular […]

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Opening Up Ancient Geodata: The Barrington Atlas II

I’ve written previously about the Barrington Atlas of the Ancient World which took 12 years to produce (1988-2000). It’s a wonderful example of interdisciplinary collaboration using, as it did, the talents of a multitude of classical scholars as well as many cartographers. In that earlier post I pointed out that, unfortunately, none of the underlying […]

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Open Knowledge 1.0: Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for Open Knowledge 1.0 which takes place at Limehouse Town Hall in London on March 17th 2007. Space at the venue is limited so we encourage you to register. More information about the event available below. Open Knowledge 1.0 When: Saturday 17th March 2007, 11am until 6:30pm (Doors open at 1030) […]

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Open Data Discussion on SPARC List

I was recently involved in some interesting discussion with John Wilbanks on the SPARC open-data list and thought it worth excerpting some of this here. Email 1: Reply to a message from John Wilbanks Source: https://mx2.arl.org/Lists/SPARC-OpenData/Message/100.html Hi all, chiming in here…just joined the list. The lack of international consensus on data makes use of CC […]

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The Tragedy of the Enclosed Lands

Normally I don’t like to blog things solely in order to propagate them, adding no commentary. But The Tragedy of the Enclosed Lands is about the most lucid, personal and usefully social explanation of the consequences of the lack of open access to geodata in the UK, that I have ever read online. There are […]

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PD Burn receives BBC Phonograms data

The kindly people at BBC Archives have supplied our project with 1.8 gigs (over 1,000,000 items) of data, which includes, in particular, listing of antique recordings. The exact rights status of this data has yet to be determined, so unfortunately for now we can only analyze its contents. Before this analysis, we’ll need to decode […]

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