This week I want to quickly introduce how and why you should include a license in your vocabulary and documentation. Since this subject has been already dealt with, I am mainly going to be providing links to posts describing these matters in detail.
Why should you add a license to your ontologies? Because if others want to reuse your vocabulary or ontology, the license will clarify what are they allowed doing with it according to the law (for instance, if they have to give attribution to your work). Remember that you are the intellectual author and you have the rights over the resource being published. See more details and types of licenses here.
How can you specify a license? You can add it as a semantic description to the ontology/vocabulary. Two widely used properties are dc:rights and dc:license, from the Dublin Core vocabulary. These properties can be used to describe the OWL file being produced, or in the documentation itself with annotations in RDF-a or microdata. See how it can be done here.
Spend some time analyzing which is the most appropriate license for your work. It may help you and many others in the future! If you are confused on which license to use, this is the one which we use on our vocabularies: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/.
This is part of a tutorial divided in 7 parts:
- Overview of the tutorial.
- (Reqs addressed A1(partially), A2, A3, A4, P1) Publishing your vocabulary at a stable URI using RDFS/OWL.
- (Reqs addressed P2, P3). How to design a human readable documentation.
- Extra: A tool for creating html readable documentation
- (Reqs addressed P4). Derreferencing your vocabulary
- (Reqs addressed A1 (partially)). Dealing with the license. (this post)
- (Reqs addressed A5, P5). Reusing other vocabularies. (To appear)