[Imports-us] Releasing my data into Public Domain

Paul Norman penorman at mac.com
Thu Jul 18 18:40:57 UTC 2013

Neither of those is public domain. I know for individuals there can be
issues releasing data into the public domain, but if a government's lawyers
feel their data is public domain, I generally just take them at their word.


If the data is public domain then a simple statement that the data is public
domain should be enough. With PD you're not actually licensing the data,
you're stating that it's not covered by copyright and there aren't any
exclusive rights that need licensing.


From: Ian Dees [mailto:ian.dees at gmail.com] 
Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2013 11:35 AM
To: Elliott Plack
Cc: Imports US; talk-us at openstreetmap.org
Subject: Re: [Imports-us] Releasing my data into Public Domain


Explicitly state that all data is CC0. In fact, there's a handy
build-your-own-license page here:




Alternatively you could release your data under the MIT license like Chicago




MIT is chosen simply to limit your liability/warranty for downstream users
of the data. Lots of local governments have custom liability waivers or
indemnification clauses on their otherwise public domain data so that people
don't sue them when their data happens to be wrong.


On Thu, Jul 18, 2013 at 1:25 PM, Elliott Plack <elliott.plack at gmail.com>

Great news! First of all, I saved my 1000th edit the other day. Secondly, my
organization is release all of its data into the public domain! That
organization is Baltimore County Government. The exact timeline is
tentative, but it is just around the corner.


Question to you: On our website, we are uncertain as how to say, "The data
is public domain." Can you all provide examples of other sites that provide
data that has been imported into OSM? I want to make sure our "un-license"
is compatible with OSM, and the Open Data in general, especially if there
are disclaimers involved.




Elliott Plack


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