Tauberer et al.: Open Government Data: Best-Practices Language for Making Data “License-Free,” Including Primary Legal Resources

Joshua Tauberer, Eric Mill, Jonathan Gray, Ellen Miller, and Joseph Lorenzo Hall, have written a new guidance document for U.S. federal agencies, entitled Open Government Data: Best-Practices Language for Making Data “License-Free”.

Josh describes this document in his new post: Guidance: Federal agencies can make their data “license-free”.

Here are excerpts from the document:

Public government data is becoming an increasingly important part of the modern free press, industries from weather forecasting to business intelligence, and the repertoire of tools that can increase the efficiency of government services and support civic participation.

Open government data has been defined in many ways. One definition uses eight core principles. As a definition, it does not attempt to say what should be open but rather articulates the consensus understanding of what it means to be open. One principle, in its simplest form, states that open government data is “license-free,” or in other words that the data has no restrictions on use except as set forth in law.

This document provides language to affix to data publications so that they may meet, or to make it clear that they meet, the criteria of the “license-free” principle. The language is intended for U.S. federal government agencies. […]

For Primary Legal Materials

The courts have ruled that the law — i.e. edicts of government — is not protected by copyright (see Banks v. Manchester, 128 U.S. 244, 253 (1888) and other cases). This has also been the position of the U.S. Copyright Office.

For federal government primary legal materials, the language for federal government works listed above will typically suffice. For other aspects of law that do not fall into one of the categories above, such as standards incorporated by reference, we recommend the following:

“This work contains laws, which are not subject to U.S. copyright protection. Additionally, [Body] waives copyright and related rights in the work worldwide through the CC0 1.0 Universal public domain dedication (which can be found at http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/).”

When publishing laws along side annotations in which copyright protections are asserted, we strongly recommend publishing an un-annotated copy of the law with the statement above.

The Council of the District of Columbia uses CC0 to waive copyright on the DC Code at http://dccouncil.us/UnofficialDCCode. […]

For more details, please see the complete guidance document and Josh’s post.

HT @JoshData

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One Response to Tauberer et al.: Open Government Data: Best-Practices Language for Making Data “License-Free,” Including Primary Legal Resources

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