Common Dataset License Types

Why specify a license for your data?

By providing a license, you are setting expectations about how you want your data to be used. You can think of a license as the Terms of Use for your data.


Common license considerations

Public Domain

The work has been dedicated to the public domain by waiving all rights to the work worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.

Attribution

You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

Share-alike

If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.

Non-commercial

You may not use the material for commercial purposes.

Database Only

License applies to the database only and not its contents or data.

No Derivatives

No Derivative Works. You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.


License TypePublic DomainAttributionShare-alikeNon-commercialDatabase OnlyNo Derivatives
Public Domain
CC-0
PDDL
CC-BY
CDLA-Permissive-1.0
ODC-BY
CC-BY-SA
CDLA-Sharing-1.0
ODC-ODbL
CC BY-NC
CC BY-ND
CC BY-NC-SA
CC BY-NC-ND
Other
All licenses that begin with CC-BY in the table above refer to version 4.0 of those licenses

Common dataset license types

Public Domain

Public Domain Mark

Dedicate your dataset to the public domain: This isn’t technically a license since you are relinquishing all your rights in your dataset by choosing to dedicate your dataset to the public domain. To donate your work to the public domain, you can select “public domain” from the license menu when creating your dataset.

CC-0

Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication

This license is one of the open Creative Commons licenses and is like a public domain dedication. It allows you, as a dataset owner, to use a license mechanism to surrender your rights in a dataset when you might not otherwise be able to dedicate your dataset to the public domain under applicable law.

PDDL

Open Data Commons Public Domain Dedication and License

This license is one of the Open Data Commons licenses and is like a public domain dedication. It allows you, as a dataset owner, to use a license mechanism to surrender your rights in a dataset when you might not otherwise be able to dedicate your dataset to the public domain under applicable law.

CC-BY

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

This license is one of the open Creative Commons licenses and allows users to share and adapt your dataset so long as they give credit to you.

CDLA-Permissive-1.0

Community Data License Agreement – Permissive, Version 1.0

This license is one of the Community Data License Agreement licenses and is similar to permissive open source licenses. It allows users to use, modify and adapt your dataset and the data within it, and to share it so long as they give credit to you. The CDLA-Permissive terms explicitly do not impose any obligations or restrictions on results obtained from users’ computational use of the data.

ODC-BY

Open Data Commons Attribution License

This license is one of the Open Data Commons licenses and allows users to share and adapt your dataset so long as they give credit to you.

CC-BY-SA

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

This license is one of the open Creative Commons licenses and allows users to share and adapt your dataset so long as they give credit to you and distribute any additions, transformations or changes to your dataset under this license. We consider this license (a.k.a a viral license) problematic since others may decide not to work with your CC-BY-SA licensed dataset if there is risk that by doing so their work on your dataset will need to be shared under this license when they would rather use another license.

CDLA-Sharing-1.0

Community Data License Agreement – Sharing, Version 1.0

This license is one of the Community Data License Agreement licenses and was designed to embody the principles of “copyleft” in a data license. It allows users to use, modify and adapt your dataset and the data within it, and to share the dataset and data with their changes so long as they do so under the CDLA-Sharing and give credit to you. The CDLA-Sharing terms explicitly do not impose any obligations or restrictions on results obtained from users’ computational use of the data.

ODC-ODbL

Open Data Commons Open Database License

This license is one of the Open Data Commons licenses and allows users to share and adapt your dataset so long as they give credit to you and distribute any additions, transformation or changes to your dataset under this license. We consider this license (a.k.a a viral license) problematic since others may decide not to work with your ODC-ODbL licensed dataset if there is risk that by doing so their work on your dataset will need to be shared under this license when they would rather use another license.

CC BY-NC

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International

This license is one of the more restrictive Creative Commons licenses. Users can share and adapt your dataset if they give credit to you and do not use your dataset for any commercial purposes.

CC BY-ND

Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

This license is one of the more restrictive Creative Commons licenses. Users can share your dataset if they give credit to you, but they cannot make any additions, transformations or changes to your dataset under this license.

CC BY-NC-SA

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

This license is one of the most restrictive Creative Commons licenses. Users can share your dataset only if they (1) give credit to you, (2) do not use your dataset for any commercial purposes, and (3) distribute any additions, transformations or changes to your dataset under this license. We consider this license a viral license since users will need to share their work on your dataset under this same license and any users of the adapted dataset would likewise need to share their work on the adapted dataset under this license and so on for any other changes to those modified datasets.

CC BY-NC-ND

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

This license is one of the most restrictive Creative Commons licenses. Users can share only your unmodified dataset if they give credit to you and do not share it for commercial purposes. Users cannot make any additions, transformations or changes to your dataset under this license.

Other

Additional License Coverage Options

For licenses not covered by the other options listed, you may select Other and specify the details in the summary of your dataset. No one can use, share, distribute, re-post, add to, transform or change your dataset if you have not specified a license.