Public Domain Dedication & Licence

The new Open Data Commons blog has published the first draft of the Public Domain Dedication and Licence. This license basically does what the Open Access Data Protocol states: the only sane way to have open access databases is a full public domain (in countries where this is allowed), with no rights reserved, waiving all rights based on intellectual property.

This means two things that could sound bad for those who like free/open source software and creative commons:

  • there are no restrictions, thus no share-alike clause: people should be able to do anything with data
  • also the citation of the source cannot be enforced, quite differently from academic standards where citation of your sources is, at least, a good practice

How many archaeologists are disposed to give away entire databases that are often the results of years of work? I hope that lots of us take the time to think about this proposal. In the first place, public officers should at least consider this as an option.