Selecting Licence and Terms for Publishing

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Both the licences and the terms of use must be decided when data is published.

Licences

The licence selected for publishing data is important both for the owner and the user of the data, as it determines what the users are allowed to do with the data.

When selecting a licence, keep in mind what the users might want to use the data for. While you may want to protect yourself from misuse, it is also important that the licence is open enough to encourage and support innovations built on the data.

One of the challenges for innovators is that open data is available under many different licence. From their view, the situation would be simplified if use of licences could be more standardised. Also for the publisher, use of the same licences for all datasets simplify the data management.

In Norway, the Norwegian licence for Open Government Data is recommended for open public data:

Other commonly used licences include:

Other terms of use

In addition to the issues usually covered by the licence, there are other terms of use that can be important for the user of the data to know.

Such issues include:

  • what availability can you guarantee (e.g. is the data available 24/7)
  • is there any restrictions on the use of the data, like max number of requests or volume of data per hour, etc.
  • how frequently is the data updated?

Terms like the ones described above can determine whether it is possible to make sustainable solutions based on your data. The terms should be clearly described as part of the documentation of your dataset.

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