For context, the licensing section of the publishing guidance on the (old) IATI website says:
The TAG secretariat, in collaboration with a small group chaired by the World Bank and including an open data/intellectual property lawyer, produced a set of recommendations for licensing. The IATI Licensing Standard, agreed in February 2011 at a meeting of signatories and the IATI Steering Committee, is that information published through the IATI standard should be licensed under an open license. It is a set of principles that must be adhered to, rather than a prescriptive set of terms and conditions.
(Emphasis mine. NB it looks like the above paragraph was lost in the move to the new iatistandard.org site, and so it’s missing from the corresponding page. Thanks to @markbrough for this institutional knowledge!)
So, here are four proposed action points aimed at providing a consistent approach to IATI data licensing:
- Make data licenses mandatory for all new datasets in the registry (i.e. make it a required field, and remove the “Not specified” option). @amys has already created a ticket for this.
- Improve the licensing guidance on the IATI site so that it is (i) self-consistent and clear that IATI data is open data (see: the contradictory wording that @siemvaessen flags on discuss) and (ii) provides a bit more explanation of why e.g. non-commercial (or closed more generally) is problematic.
- Fix existing “closed” and “no license specified” data in the registry, by contacting publishers and asking them to select an open license. I guess if these aren’t updated after some pre-defined notice period (h/t @stevieflow), these datasets would either need to default to an open license or be removed in order to be consistent with the IATI Licensing Standard.
- Remove the closed license options from the “choose a license” dropdown on the registry.