Open Knowledge

Open Definition

Defining Open in Open Data, Open Content and Open Knowledge
10 August 2014 by Herb Lainchbury


  • Herb Lainchbury
  • Mike Linksvayer
  • Timothy Vollmer
  • Andrew Katz
  • Rufus Pollock
  • Luis Villa


  • Status of action items from previous meeting
  • OD 2.0 progress report and discussion
  • Approval process and license category proposed update, see


  • is there a date we’re shooting for on 2.0? no let’s just get it right, but there are a few licenses in the queue for review, for better or worse
  • 2.0: most edits been incorporated into the new draft
  • still open for comments

OD 2.0 review:

ACTION: Herb will push ahead and get us to 2.0 draft in as close to it’s final form and we will pick up the discussion from there. This will include taking out the comments as our goal is to make the points as clear as possible without the commentary. ( perhaps a separate “guide” document for reviewers would be useful instead of the comments and links that are in OD 2.0 draft right now.

  • Rufus suggested swapping section 1 & 2 (deferred)
  • Rufus suggested swapping section 1 & 2 (deferred)
  • remove sub-points on 2 (yes)
  • wording of “licensed rights” is legalese?
  • pull request on new wording for 2.1.3? aaron
  • new bold suggestion from aaron - patents and other legal restrictions; herb’s suggestion is to leave new things out at this point; for 2.0 we wanted to do a split and to have a positive tone; push to “good suggestions for next time”
  • mike: 1.1.3 says derivatives must be allowed to be distributed under same license, but suggestion is could be any open framework; let’s think about first principles and have it make sense to those not familiar with open licenses; basically would make 1.1.3 less specific; push to list for more discussion
  • impartiality stronger than non-discrimination; which to use? (rename to “non-discrimination”)
    • Quote: “The license must not discriminate against persons or groups of persons”
  • mike: conditions common in other open licenses but not listed as acceptable here? e.g. CC licenses wouldn’t be acceptable because no-DRM not listed at 1.2; will this become a laundry list? mike: we should have as close of a complete list as we can (similar to other definitions); new conditions that are weird should be able to be dealt with; stewards should be able to look at the list and know with high level of certainty whether their license is in compliance or not andrew: would free/open source software licenses be accepted under the definition? possibly but OD is built upon OSI; we don’t want to especially exclude them but OD not primarily serving them
  • Mike will suggest language for the 3 points he raised on the list ** “convenient and modifiable form” dealing
  • Kent’s suggestions: 1.1.8: should the def be saying “license must grant permissions” when in some cases no permission is required (e.g. public domain)
    • at top put note to the effect license grants permission unless no permission necessary - copyright - tweak wording in preamble?
    • Agreed changes:
      • 1.1 The license must irrevocably grant (or allow) the following
      • Introduction: The term license refers to the legal conditions under which the work is made available. Where no license has been offered this should be interpreted as referring to default legal conditions governing use of the work (for example, copyright or, in some cases, public domain).
  • AGREED: swap sections 1 and 2
  • Andrew: access must be free of technological obstacles too - looking at 2.1.2;
  • rufus: merge issue #7
  • create issues for existing troubling licenses - yes
  • ship by OKFest next month?

RP comments