Microsoft makes 3 data sharing agreements available to the community

Microsoft today published three data sharing agreements that it hopes can function as a basis for other organizations who want to create similar documents.

In today’s announcement, Erich Anderson, Corporate Vice President and Chief IP Counsel at Microsoft, argues that while there are plenty of organizations that want to work together on shared datasets, the logistics of creating these agreements — with months of time spent on negotiating and talking to lawyers — often stall or stop these projects.

“We want to help make it easier for individuals and organizations that want to share data to do so,” Anderson writes. “Often, agreements for broad data sharing scenarios are unnecessarily long and complex. We also think there is an important role for agreements that limit rights to computational use for AI. Further, we think the state of the art on data sharing for proprietary and private data sets is changing rapidly and the terms available publicly could be improved and better explained.”

The three agreements focus on slight different use cases. One is the “Computational Use of Data Agreement” for sharing data from publicly available sources for computational purposes that don’t include any personal data, for example. The “Data Use Agreement for Open AI Model Development,” on the other hand, is all about training AI models with data that could include personal data, while the “Open Use of Data Agreement” focuses, as the name implies, on making data publicly available.

Anderson stresses that Microsoft is making these licenses available for community review and input. “Going forward, our aim is to work with interested stakeholders to improve these agreements and to offer additional ones that cover a wide range of data sharing scenarios,” he notes.

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