Login requirements - compliant or not with Open Definition


Leigh Dodds writes:

I’ll note from the start that the open definition doesn’t have anything to say about whether a login is permitted or not permitted.

However, it has always been the intent - and interpretation - that the Open Definition does forbid the use of login requirements (or, at least, that the work must be available somewhere without login requirements even if in some places it does have login requirements).

Specifically in 1.0 we had: “Absence of Technological Restriction” clause which was felt clearly to exclude requiring login.

In 2.0 we had something a bit more subtle in 1.2 and 1.3 around access and “no unnecessary technological obstacles to the performance of the licensed rights.” (Login would be an unnecessary obstacle).

Finally, in 2.1 we have 1.2 (Access) and 1.3 (Machine Readable). The latter has “The work must be provided in a form readily processable by a computer and where the individual elements of the work can be easily accessed and modified.” Again, I think login requirement would prevent readily processable by a computer (in that logins are usually human only).

Comment: whilst the OD does exclude login requirements this is not as clear or explicit as it might be - and perhaps we need a special FAQ going forward for examples like this

Open Definition Advisory Council Meeting - 2015-12-10