Commons:Structured data/Get involved/Feedback requests/First licensing consultation

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With the introduction of structured data, Commons has the opportunity to implement structured license and copyright information. There are many parts to this, from the Upload Wizard to how licensing is displayed, to reuse and attribution. Before getting into those details, it’s helpful to identify a direction to take in thinking about them.

The current system on Commons keeps a record of license and copyright information in a system of templates that are added to the file page. As Commons transitions to a structured data system, that information can be stored and organized in new ways. Building the structured data system will require decisions regarding to what extent Commons wants to reflect the current copyright information stored here on Commons and to what extent we want to reorganize that information to be more useful in the long term.

The goal of this discussion is to identify the best way to build a model for structured license and copyright information.


There are two specific examples readily available, as well as the opportunity to create another approach that combines aspects of these examples. We invite you to identify the priorities for the best structured license and copyright information system on Commons.

  1. Build a model for structured license and copyright information based on current Commons practices.
    • Priority:
      • Ease of development and transition: Similar to the status quo, and potentially breaks the fewest existing workflows
      • Please add more
  2. Build a model for structured licenses and copyright that is designed to be interoperable with, and that builds upon systems developed by other institutions.[1][2][3][4]
    • Priority:
      • Interoperability: We can build a system that maximizes the ease of contribution from other institutions.
      • Ease of use: Outside organizations are working to streamline people’s understanding of free licensing, to ease contribution and reuse. This involves focusing on promoting set standards of describing terms and conditions associated with licenses, rather than the license itself.
      • Please add more
  3. Something else. Share your idea or vision.


What do you think?


  1. - a list of open source licenses collected by
  2. - a list of commonly found licenses and exceptions used in free and open source and other collaborative software or documentation
  3. is a set of (broad) categories of copyright statuses that cultural institutions can use to clarify the copyright status of media files of their collections. This system is developed by Europeana and the DPLA (Digital Public Library of America)
  4. is a set of public domain calculators developed by Kennisland, a Dutch thinktank that is (among other things) closely associated with Creative Commons NL. This system does not offer structured licenses, but it provides logic to determine whether a work is in the public domain in a specific European country.