The following is an excerpt with minor alterations from Data Re-Use and Licensing Frameworks authored by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS).
One of the essential ingredients of reusable data is clarity of reuse permissions, terms, and conditions. Prospective reusers need to know exactly what they can do with the data. Those conditions and permissions should be explicit.
Within the Australian context, this information about the permissions and conditions of re-use can be expressed in different kinds of notices, licences, contracts, etc accompanying the data. Not being clear about permission to reuse data can have the same result as forbidding data reuse, because uncertainty can be enough to discourage the potential reuser.
AusGOAL (formerly GILF) is an open licensing framework designed to assist organisations to start by default from the most open licensing arrangements and work back from there as appropriate. ANDS has prepared a Guide to AusGOAL. AusGOAL has been successfully used in many Commonwealth and State government agencies (e.g. Geoscience Australia) to move these organisations on to an open access data footing. The AusGOAL framework incorporates Creative Commons licences.
In principle, any kind of clarity around re-use permissions and conditions is useful. ANDS is promoting the use of AusGOAL in the research and innovations sector in order to not "reinvent the wheel" and to ensure licensing harmony within and between these sectors.
A list of software licenses is located on the Open Source Initiative website. ANDS does not enforce any of these, but we encourage Partners to adopt one of the Google recommended licenses (i.e. Apache, Artistic, BSD, GPLv2, GPLv3, LGPL, MIT, MPL, and EPL).
Australian National Data Service. (2012). Data Re-use and Licensing Framework. Retrieved 21 September, 2012 from http://www.ands.org.au/publishing/licensing.html