The importance of open licenses

An overview

 Original image by Gerd Altmann/CC0

Research data  are not protected by any legal proprietary rights in most cases. A license constitutes a  contract which stipulates the terms of use. In principle, a licensing agreement can contain a wide variety of terms. It is possible, for example, to stipulate that obtaining permission is necessary for data use.

Open Licenses

The aim of open licences is to make a digital object available for general use. Some open licenses place certain conditions and limitations on the re-use of the object.  In order to make the topic of open licenses more easily managable, standardized licensing models have emerged. Among the most commonly used open licences are the following:

  • Creative Commons (CC)
  • GNU General Public License (GPL) / specialised on software licensing
  • Open Data Commons (ODC) / specialised on data collections