LAPSI Position Paper No. 1: The 'Principles Governing Charging' for Re-Use of Public Sector Information
Open Data and Re-Use of Public Sector Information, D. Tiscomia (ed.), XX Riv. informatica e diritto 105 (2011)
16 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2013
Date Written: May 31, 2011
According to the EU Directive 2003/98 public sector bodies can currently charge the cost of collection, production, reproduction and dissemination, together with a reasonable return on investment. If the upper limit for charging was lowered to the marginal costs of reproduction and dissemination of documents, with a possibility for a limited number of exhaustively spelled out exceptions, what could these exceptions be? Who would decide in practice on the exceptions: Member States or local public sector bodies? Accordingly, the analysis presented specifically focuses on an hypothetical regime which provides that charging is subject to an upper limit, identified with the marginal costs of reproduction and dissemination of documents; and admits that the default is overridden by specific exceptions. The underlying assumption is that the current rules concerning charges are amended; and that the current recoverability also of the cost of “collection” and “production” of the documents, as well as of “a reasonable return on investment” made in view of the collection, production, reproduction and dissemination from charges made by public sector bodies is for the future admitted only in specific, exceptional cases. While the present discussion shall mainly deal with the identification of the various options available under the new regime as far as exceptions are concerned and with the governance level at which decisions on the same exceptions should be taken, the scrutiny shall extend to the rationale itself of this hypothetical new regime, to the extent necessary to clarify the available options.
Keywords: Public Sector Information, Charging Principles, Cost of Production, Cost of Collection, Cost of Reproduction, Cost of Dissemination, Return on Investment, Marginal Cost, Exceptions
JEL Classification: K00, K12, K20, K21, K23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation