Open Data

This page collects my interviews, articles, presentations, and work on open data.

I’m the founder of Open Data Commons, a project of the Open Knowledge Foundation. We provide legal tools for open data – think Creative Commons or FSF with a database specific focus.

We have three tools:

  • The PDDL – a public domain dedication tool that allows governments, people, and organizations to give up their legal rights over data and place a work completely in the public domain (without copyright or database rights).
  • The Open Database License (ODbL), which is a copyleft database license.
  • The Open Data Commons Attribution License (ODC-BY), which is a license that requires you give credit to the database’s creator.

Wondering what we mean by “open”?  Go over to to find out more.

If you’re interested in using one of our licenses or joining the community, head over to to find out how.

Selected presentations, articles, and interviews on open data below.

Open data presentations

An intro to Open Data Commons at Future Everything May 2010.

Show and Tell: Open Data Commons at Open Source Show and Tell (OSSAT) April 2010. Also recorded on Vimeo.

Open Data and the Law, as part of the Legal and Social Frameworks for Sharing Data on the Web tutorial at International Semantic Web Conference 2009. This was a half day tutorial, and everyone’s slides are up on the ISWC wiki.

Implementing Open Data: The Open Data Commons project. Oxford Internet Institute, March 2008.

Open data and database licensing, University of Glasgow, Legal Environment of Digital Curation, November 2007.

Open data articles

Open Data and the Law, Nodalities Magazine, (2010) [PDF].

Implementing Open Data: The Open Data Commons project. Open Source Business Resource, (February 2008) <>


Richard Poynder, Open and Shut?, kindly asked me for an interview, the results of which are now up at: 18 October 2010.

Semantic Web Company: Jordan S. Hatcher: “Why we can’t use the same open licensing approach for databases as we do for content and software.