Collaborative licenses to enable access, sharing and use of data openly among individuals and organizations

**NEW: Version 2 of the CDLA-Permissive license has been released. See the license text and our blog post about the announcement, and read below for more details.

Open Data Sharing

Open source software communities have shown the power of open collaboration building some of the world’s most important software assets together. There are communities also looking to collaboratively build datasets that can be shared and developed in a very similar model to software. For example, machine learning and AI systems require vast amounts of training data. Organizations, governments, researchers and others across the community are looking for ways to establish public-private sharing of data.

The challenge is that intellectual property systems around the world treat data differently than software. Our common OSI-approved licenses do not work well applied to data.

Our communities wanted to develop data license agreements that could enable sharing of data similar to what we have with open source software. The result is a large scale collaboration on licenses for sharing data under a legal framework which we call the Community Data License Agreement (CDLA).

These licenses establish the framework for collaborative sharing of data that we have seen proven to work in open source software communities. The context document should be helpful for understanding the framework to apply the CDLA. We encourage communities and organizations seeking to share data to review the Community Data License Agreements and see if they fit your needs and use cases.

Version 2.0 License Agreement

In June 2021, we released the CDLA-Permissive-2.0. This was a thorough rewrite of version 1 of the Permissive license, resulting in a shorter, simpler and broadly permissive license agreement intended to enable wider sharing and usage of open data.

It builds upon lessons learned from version 1 by retaining the explicit permission to use “Results” of computational analysis of data without restriction or obligation. It improves upon version 1 by streamlining the language and removing provisions that did not appear to be relevant or necessary in practice.

The result is a short license agreement, easily comprehensible to data scientists and lawyers alike, to permit recipients to broadly use, analyze, modify and share data.

Version 1.0 License Agreements

You can read more about the precursors to CDLA-Permissive-2.0 on the Version 1.0 License Agreements page.