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Data Users

Learn how to find, appraise, crop and access data on any Koordinates site.

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  4. Understanding licensing

Understanding licensing

What is a licence?

A licence states what can and cannot be done with any data you access. While some publishers choose standardised licence terms, others may include special provisions in the use of their data.

Users will need to accept licensing terms before downloading data, and it is up to user to understand and follow these licensing terms. Note that licences are provided by data publishers, which means that Koordinates is not a party to the licence - the licence agreement, that is to say, is between the publisher and the user.

What is copyright?

Copyright is a property right that applies to certain categories of original works. In most countries, copyright lasts for the life of the author, plus seventy years. While most countries have exceptions for specific kinds of uses, these exceptions are generally restrictive. For most uses of copyright works, permission has to be granted by the copyright owner.

Creative Commons

The most prevalent open licence is known as Creative Commons. Creative Commons licences are free, internationally recognised, standardised, and have been adopted by governments, universities, businesses and educators all over the world. There are over one billion works licensed under Creative Commons.

There are six Creative Commons licences, ranging from more to less permissive. The less permissive licences restrict commercial and derivative use; the more permissive licence allow commercial reuse, and requires only attribution.

You can learn more at the Creative Commons website.