Open data is data which may be freely used and repurposed.
Data (as opposed to text or other creative works) cannot considered to be under copyright in US law and can therefore be considered public domain; however data is covered by copyright under the laws of some other countries.
Some data sets (for example from the World Bank) are published under an open license. Open licensed and public domain datasets are referred to as open data.
- "Scientific data, once published, are considered to be in the public domain and data generated from federally funded research, such as by Smithsonian research investigations, are regarded as public property." - Dr. Kate Jackson, The Ethics of Specimen-based Research, 25 June 2003, University of Toronto. (This opinion may not be universally held.)
- Open Data - Open Knowledge Foundation Blog, advocating for open data.