[odc-discuss] Dropping PDDL in favor of CC0?

Rufus Pollock rufus.pollock at okfn.org
Wed Mar 25 12:01:08 GMT 2009

2009/3/25 Jakob <jakob.voss at s1999.tu-chemnitz.de>:
> Hi!
> Creative Commons launched the CC Zero (CC0) which is not exactely a
> license but a statement to put any content under Public Domain:

Yes it is exactly the same as the PDDL in that respect it is a
dedication where that is appropriate and a license where it needs to
be a license.

> http://creativecommons.org/licenses/zero/1.0/ There is a note in the
> Open Data Commons FAQ (misspelling CC0 ;-) about CC0. It says:
>> CC? will be compliant with the Science Commons protocol for open data,
>> as will of course the Open Data Commons. The will both be interoperable,
>> so any data or content made available under either system can be
>> mixed and remixed. Unlike CC? however, the Open Data Commons system
>> includes a set of Community Norms linked with the licence.
> However at http://www.opendatacommons.org/licenses/ the license is not
> mentioned but it is said:

That is a typo and should be fixed: the norms are optional. The
reasons norms are mentioned so prominently is that when the PDDL was
being developed, particularly in our conversations with John Wilbanks
of Science Commons norms were really central -- the whole idea being
that while people might dedicate to the PD they would still be
expecting e.g. attribution and that would be in the norms.

>> Public Domain Dedication and License
>> When using the PDDL you may wish to associate a set of Community Norms.
> So the Community Norms are not included by default. As far as I
> understand CC0 makes PDDL obsolete because you can add any Community
> Norms also to CC0 content (unless the norm is in fact a license). I
> think you did a good job with PDDL and promoting Open Data, but now we
> have to systems with fuzzy differences which makes publishing Open
> Data only more difficult (!). CC0 is surely more visible because

Not sure what the fuzzy differences are here :) Both PDDL and CCZero
allowing for waiving all rights. That said PDDL is focused
specifically on data and DBs. As I understand it in its original
incarnation CCZero was just going to focus on content (like the other
CC licenses). What is more you often have a situation where you may
want to just do stuff for the DB and not for "content" in the DB (e.g.
you have a DB about photographs and might want to license the photos
themselves separately from the DB). In this case the PDDL may be more

> Creative Commons is widely known and last but not least it is better
> prepared for different legal systems, not only the US.
> Whenever I promote Open Data, I shifted to tell people that for Public
> Domain they should now use CC0, and PDDL is only a former method that
> was used before CC0. Are there strong arguments against dropping PDDL
> in favor of CC0?

As I said if you are focused on data and databases the PDDL may be
more appropriate.

> The important thing about Open Data is the spirit of sharing and if
> CC0 can better help to spread this spirit, we should move PDDL to
> this. What do you think?

I don't think which particular license you use is that important is
spreading the *spirit* -- people use both MIT and BSD licenses for
example. What matters here, IMO, is promoting the general idea of
openness and explicit licensing, see:




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