Thursday, 28 July 2011


Linked data, amongst the many challenges it presents, requires licensing which is appropriate to its intended uses. As the compilation of databases is not regarded as a creative act under at least US law, the Creative Commons licence is probably not appropriate for licensing linked data. Instead, the Open Data Commons licences  ( defined by the Open Knowledge  Foundation appears a more appropriate choice for this purpose.

Open Data Commons includes three licences: the Public Domain Dedication and License (PDDL), which places the data in the public domain and waives all rights, the Attribution License (ODC-By) which allows the sharing and adaptation of the data provided it remains attributed, and the Open Database License (ODbL), which allows the same rights provided any adaptations are distributed under the same licence.

Links to these licences are provides as RDF triples on the website: for  instance:-
·                 rdf:RDF
·                 xmlns:cc=''
·                 xmlns:rdf=''
·                 xmlns:dcq=''
·                 cc:License rdf:about="">
·                 cc:legalcode
·                 rdf:resource=""/>
·                 dcq:hasVersion>1.0</dcq:hasVersion>
·                 cc:License>
·                 rdf:RDF>

to define the Open Database License. They can therefore be readily incorporated into any linked data application.  Discussions with partner institutions within AIM25 will tease out the preferred licence. It is expected to be ODbL.

As a matter of record a statement is being added to all descriptions reflecting AIM25 as the origin of the data, that AIM25 is a partnership in which contributing members have rights, but that the data is otherwise freely accessible for reuse as it has been since inception some 11 years ago. (see for example the quantities of AIM25 created entries for the Women’s Library now also offered in the Hub.) The statement will reference the use of a Open Data Commons licence. 

An issue still to be addressed however is thesaurus support. UKAT is based on UNESCO which gave permission for development but we assume further permission will be required for further use and embedding.  The same applies to MESH, and Gay and Lesbian and other vocabularies developed by partner organisation.  We have also used Getty Arts and Architecture selectively. 

Gareth Knight and Patricia Methven

No comments:

Post a Comment