LAPSI Position Paper No. 3: The 'Licensing' of Public Sector Information
In Open Data and Re-Use of Public Sector Information, D. Tiscomia (ed.), XX Riv. informatica e diritto 129 (2011)
Posted: 16 Feb 2013 Last revised: 23 Jul 2016
Date Written: May 31, 2011
The licensing policies adopted by public sector information holders (PSIHs) directly affect two of the items expressly mentioned in Art. 13(2) of the EU Directive 2003/98: the extent of re-use of public sector information and its increase rate. Moreover the optimization of rules and policies also has a direct link with the “further possibilities of improving the public functioning of the internal market and the development of the European content industry”, which in turn is expressly mentioned in Art. 13(2) of the above mentionet Directive. Therefore a specific inquiry into this area is entirely consistent, and arguably also indispensible, with the scope of the review that the EU Directive 2003/98 is going through. In this context, questions arise: are there licensing issues further facilitating re-use of PSI that could be brought forward by legislative measures, by amending the current provision of Article 8 of the PSI Directive, or other measures? If yes, which could/should they be? Accordingly, the analysis builds on a review of the currently applicable provisions of the Directive which deal with licenses both at the legal and technological level; presents an analytical framework to explore the impact of the legal tools under which public sector information is made available, including but not limited to licensing arrangements, on the possibility of merging different PSI data sets and facilitating the emergence of pan European PSI-based services; discusses the interplay of these legal tools and of some of the technological determinants of the quantity and quality of reuse (formats; standards and interoperability; searchability); and, finally presents a number of options available in connection with the opportunity of amending current provisions in the area, including Art. 8 of the PSI Directive.
Position Paper No. 3, The "Licensing" of Public Sector Information, WG4 - Licensing of PSI of the European Thematic Network LAPSI (Legal Aspects of Public Sector Information).
Keywords: Public Sector Information, PSI, Licenses, Re-Use, Formats, Interoperability, Searchability
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