License families and license openness metrics

Hi, I am new here… sorry if it is off-topic. I am looking for people that want to discuss “openness ranking” and “openness scores” for licenses.

Example-1: Wikipedia’s illustration shows a kind of “openness ranking” of CC licenses (but not show how to rank another licenses).

Example-2: the OAspectrum FAQ shows some methodological clues to transform ranking into scores, as the column “Reuse Rights” with some score adoption — in a 0-20 scale the license group CC-BY, CC0 etc. has score 20, the license group of CC-BY-SA, CC-BY-NC, etc. has score 14, and CC-BY-ND score 7.

Examples 1 and 2 have a different point of view about how to rank NC and ND clauses.

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Hi, it’s certainly on-topic, at least for the on-topic category. Differing points of view is a good starting point. To what ends and how effective to those ends? No time at the moment but glad to discuss in depth.

Thanks @mlinksva. To future “in depth discussion”, see also this discussion Wiki page.

@krauss I left a comment at that discussion, copied below.

I realize that OA and OER muddy things, but for the Open Source Definition, Open (Knowledge) Definition, and Open Source Hardware Definition, “open” in binary. Non-open terms such as NC and ND don’t help build a commons; whether one is more or less restrictive than the other is immaterial. Open terms requiring preservation of provenance and openness (typically known as attribution/notice requirements and copyleft/share-alike respectively, though reality is slightly broader) are a matter of strategy; there’s no consensus on whether their presence or absence results in more openness. My suggestion is to rename this something like “Ordering of Creative Commons licenses from most to least permissive.png” and debate the relative demerits of NC and ND in those terms as well.

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@mlinksva Thanks to participate in both discussions.
Well, there are many “open issues”, let’s check first here if there are some (or all) consensual opinion. Listing basic opinions and hypothesis, that I used, for to think about openness metrics:

  1. How we view the licenses and the license diversity… My view is compatible with the view used here? More open is “less transaction cost” and “less freedom-restriction clauses”?

  2. The “score of openness” general ideia: it is a valid ideia for some specific contexts?
    2.1. is valid, for statistical and etc. analysis, to group licenses in families? Example: to group CC0 family (CC0-v1.0, DLDE-Zero-v2.0, ODC-PDDL-1.0, PDM, etc.); CC-BY family (​CC-BY1, CC-BY-2, CC-BY-3, CC-BY-v4, CC-BY-v2, DLDE-BY-v2.0, GFDL-v1.3, ODC-BY-v1.0, OGL-UK-v1, OGL-UK-v2, etc.); etc. families.
    PS: even copyrighted works, in copyright0 or copyright-apy families.

    2.2. is valid and make sense, for a summarization in a big collection (ex. articles of PubMed Central), to show the family distribution? (chart or table of percentages in participation of each family in the collection).

    2.3. is valid to associate an armitrary score (ex. 0-7) to each family, and calculating score averages, to characterize coarsely the collection by this average number?

  3. (supposing item 2 is a consensus) Is better to average only “coherent sets of families”, within which the quantitative average make sense? (see ACME collection illustration below) The election of “coherent scope” is a matter of qualitative sense in the range of scores.

The item-3 is also a suggestion: to ignore names for a moment, focusing in the family grouping (scopes)… So, the illustrated scope names OD (Open Definition), OA (Open Access) or RT (ResTricted by copyright) are only arbitrary labels for scopes (score ranges).

PS: in both cases, family and scope names (labels), the names are arbitrary… The names that I elected, use the same naming rule than biologists (canonicalization), that elect the most popular element in the taxon because is stable and a good mnemonic.

Glossary (this interface not works with more than 2 links)

  1. As above, I think ordering licenses by permissiveness is a valid idea, but I don’t think calling such an ordering openness is correct. As mentioned at the link, conditioning permissions on preserving openness is just a different market strategy for achieving openness than granting unconditional permissions; one is less permissive than the other but it isn’t clear which is more open.

  2. I think scoring and grouping are complementary

    2.1. From the example above I think you have unconditional license and attribution/notice condition groups. There are lots of other ways to group licenses, e.g., by other conditions such as share-alike/copyleft, compatibility with other licenses, approval by various groups, etc.

    2.2. Sure

    2.3. At a glance looks interesting though again I don’t think I’d call it a score by openness.

  3. In this case since the concern is different baselines of “open” it is more appropriate to describe as an openness degree and I imagine could be useful for a collection; e.g. Wikimedia Commons, if I understand your scheme correctly, would be 100% OD with a weighted average of 5. I’m not sure it is politically advisable to highlight OA as a lower baseline as there’s lots of disagreement about that. Note that for a collection of actual works, the license is not the only thing that is pertinent, eg see section 1 of

Finally you’re only able to post 2 links because you’re a new user (I haven’t changed the Discourse default user levels). You should be automatically bumped up to the next level by reading a bit more, but I manually did so just now. :slightly_smiling:

Thanks @mlinksva, I will back to the discussion next weeks with some subsidies… Below, a feedback to not stop discussion,

  1. ok, we agree to “ordering licenses by permissiveness”, that is the ideia. About “preserving openness is just a different market strategy”, yes, there are no “absolute truth” in ordering criteria: but there are clear tendencies and preferences, so we need only to work with the “most popular” in mind… and perhaps there “two most popular strategies”. The OpenAccess community and the WIFO community are the two most popular, but we need only one ordering criteria because WIFO is exactly the inverse of OpenAccess. Other ordering preferences need to check other communities… Important is that there are only few (my guess 2 or 3) relevant communities for ordering criteria standarization in each community.

  2. yes, and grouping in “families” is the first step.

    2.1. Ok, we agree about it (families)

    2.2. ok, we can change the name “score by openness” to other name, what you suggest?

  3. The focus here is only licenses… I was working in a demo interface for calculations, lists, etc. so, when have time to finish I will back, the communication will be easy with concrete examples and a good interface.

As roadmap suggestion (a first step), lets start to review normalization (see translations and other problems) and grouping granularity of the families. It is ok this kind of family granularity?

PS: thanks (!) now I can post a lot of links :wink: