The Open Data Institute, co-founded by OCW advisor Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Professor Nigel Shadbolt, has released a new schema for adding machine readable rights statements to open data, facilitating the use of the growing number of openly shared data sets.  From the ODI blog:

Machine Readable Rights Statements
Last updated Tuesday, 2nd July 2013 at 8:48 AM Leigh Dodds
As the open data movement continues to mature, discussion is focusing on how the publishing and use of open data can be become more sustainable. This includes making the process of opening up data clear and simple for any organization.

The recent launch of the Open Data Certificates sees the ODI begin to  provide tools that support best practices in this area. The certificates provide guidance to publishers, helping them to identify a variety of issues to be considered when releasing data, whilst also giving re-users some assurance as to the quality of open datasets.

Data published to the web should always be accompanied by machine-readable metadata describing all aspects of the dataset including is content, origin, publication schedule and, importantly, clear licensing. A clear statement of re-use rights can ensure that consumers fully understand both how a dataset can be re-used and any obligations that they may incur through that usage.

Through the Open Data Certificates, the ODI will be encouraging data publishers to publish machine-readable metadata. In fact doing so is key criteria for reaching each level of certification. Read more.