Open Database License

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ODbL summary icons:
You are free: To Share, To Create, To Adapt;
As long as you: Attribute, Share-Alike, Keep open.[1]

The Open Database License (ODbL) is a copyleft ("share alike") license agreement intended to allow users to freely share, modify, and use a database while maintaining this same freedom for others.[2]

ODbL is published by Open Data Commons (see also Open Data), part of Open Knowledge International (was Foundation).[3]

The ODbL was created with the goal of allowing users to share their data freely without worrying about problems relating to copyright or ownership. It allows users to make free use of the data in the database without worrying about copyright of the creators, and add to the data or use in other databases. The license establishes the rights of users of the database, as well as the correct procedure for attributing credit where credit is due for the data, and how to make changes or improvements in the data, thus simplifying the sharing and comparison of data. Users no longer need to worry of repercussions of violations of copyright law or stolen information when using an Open Database License.


  • To Share: To copy, distribute and use the database.
  • To Create: To produce works from the database.
  • To Adapt: To modify, transform and build upon the database.


  • Attribute: You must attribute any public use of the database, or works produced from the database, in the manner specified in the ODbL. For any use or redistribution of the database, or works produced from it, you must make clear to others the license of the database and keep intact any notices on the original database.
  • Share-Alike: If you publicly use any adapted version of this database, or works produced from an adapted database, you must also offer that adapted database under the ODbL.
  • Keep open: If you redistribute the database, or an adapted version of it, then you may use technological measures that restrict the work (such as digital rights management) as long as you also redistribute a version without such measures.

Notable uses[edit]

The OpenStreetMap (OSM) project completed the move from a Creative Commons license to ODbL in September 2012[4] in an attempt to have more legal security[5] and a more specific license for databases rather than creative works.

Other projects using ODbL include OpenCorporates,[6] Open Food Facts,[7] and Paris OpenData.[8]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "ODC Open Database License (ODbL) Summary". September 12, 2009.
  2. ^ "Open Database License (ODbL) v1.0". Open Data Commons. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  3. ^ "Open Data Commons - About". Open Data Commons. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  4. ^ "OpenStreetMap data license is ODbL". OpenStreetMap Foundation. Retrieved 17 September 2012.
  5. ^ "Legal FAQ". OpenStreetMap.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Data".
  8. ^ "Open Data Paris".

As of this edit, this article uses content from "ODC Open Database License (ODbL) Summary", which is licensed in a way that permits reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, but not under the GFDL. All relevant terms must be followed.