Licensing Framework

In keeping with its mandate to offer open and accessible services to the public and in line with open data principles, CHIN relies on open source tools and standards as much as possible and makes sure to render its own content open. This contributes to a reduction of the burden of maintenance, harmonisation, and cross-documentation for the heritage community whilst also increasing the re-usability and visibility of data. Although this is not mandatory, CHIN recommends the use of licenses equivalent to its own whenever possible.

To foster customization, extension, and distribution of its content, CHIN takes the following criteria in consideration when selecting licenses for its publicly released information:

  • Usability: ease and possibility of reuse by third-parties without constraints.
  • Readability: ease of distribution and interpretation of the license information by both humans and machines regardless of geographical location;
  • Compatibility: alignment of the licenses applied to different content.

For more information on choosing a license, the following resources can be useful:

Documentation Licensing: CC0

CHIN releases and updates technical documentation pertaining to DOPHEDA on a regular basis in order to explain its information infrastructure and to ensure the correct use of its tools. This documentation pertains to scope, design and specifications, as well as testing procedures and methodologies and includes diagrams and illustrations.

CHIN’s documentation comprises three types of information:

  1. CHIN original content;
  2. Licensed content that is available for reuse (open content);
  3. Righted content that is properly quoted and used in the context of fair dealing for purposes of review, study, and research.

All documentation released by CHIN is available free of restriction under the Creative Commons CC0 license. This means that CHIN waives its copyrights and related rights (intellectual and others) when it comes to the original content in this documentation.

As such, users can and are encouraged to distribute, reuse, modify, remix and build upon its original content (usability criteria). Because CC0 is a well-known standard across the world, it contributes to good distribution and interpretation of the license by users (readability) and can easily be used in conjunction with other licenses applied to different documents to be released in the future (compatibility).

Quoted elements remain righted and, as such, CHIN asks that users disclose, acknowledge, and give attribution to all licensed sources, as CHIN does. Such disclosures include:

  • Giving attribution to authors and adequately quoting their work;
  • Making the rights status of the data used clear by linking directly to it or by making it available in a joined document, or referring to the information using a quotation. Although it is not obligatory, CHIN also recommends such disclosures to be made about any original content, including its own. In addition, considerate use of the data, by not misrepresenting data or its owners and by adequately contextualizing them and referencing them, is also requested.


Creative Commons. 2020. ‘CC0’. Creative Commons (blog). 25 May 2020. Github. 2020a. ‘Choose an Open Source License’. Choose a License. 25 May 2020.

———. 2020b. ‘The Legal Side of Open Source’. Open Source Guides. 25 May 2020.

Legislative Services Branch. 2020. Copyright Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42). R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42. Vol. C–42.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ‘MIT License’. Open Source Initiative, 28 May 2020.