The Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN) is a not-for-profit organization founded in 2004 which is dedicated to promoting open knowledge in all its forms. OKFN builds tools, projects and communities with a network of international leaders in this field.
Two projects of OKFN are of particular importance to the open data inititative:
Open Data Commons provides legal solutions for open data, including the Public Domain Dedication and License (PDDL) and the Open Database License (ODbL).
The Open Data Handbook introduces legal, social and technical aspects of open data. It can be used by anyone but is especially useful for those working with government data. It discusses the why, what and how of open data – why to go open, what open is, and the how to do open.
Open data is data that can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone - subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and sharealike.
To be considered "open," the data must have the following three characteristics:
From the Open Data Handbook