Posting over at

I’m starting to move posts over to, mostly because I do more than open content these days. I have some back-of-the-envelope plans for this site so stay tuned.

Some recent posts that you may like:

* Public Domain Assertions versus Dedications
* Open Licenses vs Public Licenses
* CC’s Public Domain Mark versus the Open Access Data Mark

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Vote for Raw Data Now on the SXSW panelpicker

Announcement below – please tweet and post to get the word out. Voting ends 27 August!


Raw Data Now: Building an Open Data Ecosystem

Rufus Pollock and Jordan Hatcher of the Open Knowledge Foundation have submitted a proposal for a workshop highlighting the great work of the Open Knowledge Foundation, including Where Does My Money Go?, Open Shakespeare, CKAN, the Open Definition, and Open Data Commons (among many many more great projects!). The panel will cover:

  • What legal rights apply to databases?
  • What tools are available to developers and data publishers involved in public sector data?
  • How do I encourage public sector institutions to release data?
  • If I’m in the public sector, what’s the best way for me to release my data?
  • Why is open data different from open source or open content?

Voting is a key part of the SXSW selection process, so please vote for our panel.


Also plug for The Itinerant Poetry Librarian‘s panel will very likely also be of interest to OKFN folks: “They stopped coming?”: Librarians Don’t Cry They Re-View

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Bear with me while I do a reboot of opencontentlawyer as the site has been hacked.  Proof that even IP/IT lawyers aren’t immune…

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Apple and open and closed systems: Podcast

Ben Lehman and Duncan Bucknell kindly invited me to participate in a podcast as part of their IPThinkTank blog recently, where the focus was Apple and open and closed systems. Any thoughts or feedback, please just let me know.

Posted in Copyright law, Enforcement, News, Online content models | Leave a comment

Tattoos and anime – new slides and papers now up

Just a quick note to say that I’ve been putting some of my older slides and past working papers up on the net lately, plus I’m making more use of my account to host my presentations. Among these, I’ve posted:

My recent two talks at the fantastic Future Everything conference are also now up: Open: Rewards and Challenges and Intro to Open Data Commons.

Posted in Academic research, Conferences | 2 Comments

OSSAT – slides now up.

My slides from last night’s Open Source Show and Tell (OSSAT) are now up on slideshare:

You can also download the PDF direct from here if you like: Hatcher_open_data_OSSAT_April_2010.pdf

Thanks to Phil and The Team for a great event!

UPDATE. Presentation now on Vimeo at

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Open Source Show And Tell

Just a note that I’ll be speaking on open data licensing at the Open Source Show and Tell on Wednesday April 14, 2010 from 6:00pm – 9:00pm.

The OSSAT is at:

The Team
30 Park Street
London, England SE1 9EQ

Register on Upcoming

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Interview on open data licensing now up

Just a quick note that I did an interview with the Semantic Web Company on open data licensing, which is now up on their site:

Jordan S. Hatcher: “Why we can’t use the same open licensing approach for databases as we do for content and software.

Comments welcome!

Posted in Open data | 5 Comments

Building out legal permissions on the semantic web

So no surprise I’ve been thinking more and more about semantic web technologies and the law, given my recent trips and talks on open data. This represents some of my early-stage thinking about how copyright plays into the coming framework.

For those not familiar with this area, my big picture layman’s summary of the semantic web / linked data: Make more stuff machine readable so that we can do smarter and better things with machines.

One of the strands of developing semantic web technology deals with building out copyright (and other IP) permissions into the framework. You can find out what the rights cover what, and where to go to get copyright permissions, etc, generally through adding metadata (data about data).

Going back to my lay interpretation, this means “making copyright permissions machine readable so that machines can do smarter and better stuff when dealing with copyright permissions”.

Creative Commons for example has started this through giving each of its licenses a set of machine readable code and through developing standards around these machine readable expressions of their licenses such as ccREL. Incidentally they give their licenses out in three versions: human readable (a summary), lawyer readable (the actual license) and machine readable (the extra stuff in the copy and paste code they provide).

Incidentally, at ISWC, there was a really interesting presentation on a paper (PDF) on looking at attribution, Creative Commons, and Flickr within a semantic web framework and ways to make compliant attribution in CC licenses easier.

I’m not qualified to go into deep detail on the technical side of implementing rights into the semantic web, so I’ll leave that to others. I’m thinking more about the big picture on how you build out such a framework for copyright and what approach you take.

Where do you start when trying to describe copyright licenses for the web? Continue reading

Posted in Conferences, Copyright law, Creative Commons, Online content models, Open data | 1 Comment

ISWC linked data and the law

database_copyright.001 Slides are now up for my presentation as part of the International Semantic Web Conference tutorial, Legal and Social Frameworks for Sharing Data on the Web.  Thanks to Leigh, Kaitlin, and Tom for their excellent presentations, as well as thanks to the audience for such great questions! Open Data and the Law.

UPDATE Everyone’s slides are linked to through the ISWC wiki page on our tutorial and will soon be up on the tutorial homepage.

Posted in Copyright law, Open data | Tagged , | 5 Comments