Disclaimer: I am not sure this is the right place to ask the question, but since it is directly related to academic work, I though I'll give it a try. If it is not, please feel free to redirect

Together with colleagues from different institutions (all academic), we have been developing a new information language (more precisely a format), based on XML, to store a specific type of information. This format is primarily directed to the academic world and will be open source

My question is: do we need to attach a licence to this new format and, if yes, what type of licence is suitable for that?

  • 2
    Seeing as the question is not about academia, but rather something that has the slightest connection to academia, I think it might be a better fit for Programmers.SE – posdef May 28 '14 at 12:14
  • I know it's maybe a bit late to do this and I know this is not the question (and I apologize for the offtopic) but I've to get this out of my chest. Have you considered RDF? – Trylks May 28 '14 at 15:15

Oh, no, yet another format!

Now seriously, you can legally register a format, but I don't see a big benefit from doing it. For what I see, licensing is essentially a copyright of the actual text. In most practical purposes, having a public, freely available document explaining it, should suffice.

To support my feeling, I have been digging in some academic examples I am familiar with and they don't specify any.

If you want to be sure, you could see what other people have done, for example, OpenDocument format.

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