Panlibus Blog

A Licence to build…

Earlier today, Talis released a draft of our Talis Community Licence on the TDN.

This draft licence builds upon our existing commitment to free contribution into and basic discovery from Talis Platform-powered applications such as Talis Source, and codifies our intentions for data shared via the Platform in an open and unambiguous manner.

It is an important step forward in helping the whole sector to move beyond the formation of closed ‘clubs’ for the exchange of data, toward a model in which basic data is actually or essentially free, and where the differentiating services built on top of those data are where the value will be found. As such, we invite all those involved in this space to join with us in exploring the opportunities to further extend the shared pool upon which we, our customers, and their beneficiaries might build.

As licence drafter Ian Davis comments on his own blog, it

“is going to play a key role in our technology platform. It gives users and contributors of all kinds of platform data some fundamental rights with one important restriction.” [that they can’t deny those freedoms to another]

Whilst of course loathe to introduce yet another licence into the morass, our research to date suggests that there is no existing licence with sufficient reach and flexibility to give contributors confidence that their rights are protected whilst making it as easy as possible for third parties to reuse their contributions.

As one who, personally, has been a long-time proponent of Creative Commons, and who argued hard in a previous role to have their licenses looked at sensibly, I see this as an important step forward in filling a gap in the current universe of remix-friendly licenses. I look forward to engaging with Creative Commons and others to ensure that this new licence moves outside Talis and genuinely meets a wide set of requirements in the library sector and far beyond.

Please do take a look, have a think, and share your thoughts in the forum.

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