Rights & Licences

If you want to share your data, it is best to do so by giving them an appropriate licence.

The most known sources for open licences are Creative Commons as well as Open Data Commons.

If you are interested in an Open Source Software licenses, choosealicense.com may help you.

There also exist a lot of other licensing options.

Creative Common Licenses

Probably the most widely-recognized Creative Commons (CC) license is the CC0 license. When you choose this license you are waiving all rights and placing your work in the public domain.

Creative Commons also offers a number of other license options:

CC Attribution (CC BY): This license allows others to distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as the original work is properly attributed to you.

CC Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA): This license allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as the original work is properly attributed to you and they license the derivatives under the identical terms.

CC Attribution-NoDerivs (CC BY-ND): This license allows others to redistribute your work for commercial or non-commercial purposes, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole and properly attributed to you.

CC Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC): This license allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as the original work is properly attributed to you. Derivative works do not have to be licensed on the same terms as the original.

CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA): This license allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as the original work is properly attributed to you and the derivative works are licensed on the same terms as the original.

CC Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND): This license allows others to share your work with others as long as they credit you. Your work can not be changed in any way or used commercially. This is the most restrictive license.

Creative Commons also provides guidance on the use of their licenses with data and databases

Open Data Commons

Open Data Commons (ODC) offers three license options that were created specifically for data/databases:

ODC Public Domain and Dedication License (PDDL): This license is similar to the CC0 license in that it imposes no restrictions on the use of your data/database. Others are free to copy, distribute, and use your work; produce works from your data/database; and to modify, transform, and build upon the data/database.

ODC Attribution License: This license is similar to the CC BY license in that it allows others to copy, distribute, and use your work; produce works from your data/database; and to modify, transform, and build upon the data/database, as long as they provide you proper attribution.

Open Database License (ODbL): This license is similar to the CC BY-SA license in that it allows others to copy, distribute, and use your work; produce works from your data/database; and to modify, transform, and build upon the data/database, as long as they provide you proper attribution and any new works created are made available under this same license.

ODC also provides information on how these licenses differ from Creative Commons licenses in their application to databases.

Further reading and learning:

 "Sharing, preservation, and licensing" Mantra online tutorial.