Commercializing Public Sector Information

30 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2015

Date Written: August 31, 2015


This article addresses the question of commercialization of public sector information, exploring freedom of information acts in the U.S. and the EU, where a public sector information directive has been recently adopted and implemented. The article argues that a right to commercialize should be distinguished from the right to know under the freedom of information acts, and that the freedom to commercialize can and should be subject to restrictions. It also considers existing licensing regimes of public sector information and argues that public sector information should be licensed by governments under certain terms where it is licensed for commercial purposes and takes into account the public interest in creating these informational works in the first place. The introduction of such restraints is justified and equitable given the public investment in creating these important informational goods. Possible challenges to this licensing model are also introduced and addressed.

Keywords: Public Sector Information, Right to Information, Intellectual Property Law

Suggested Citation

Marcowitz-Bitton, Miriam, Commercializing Public Sector Information (August 31, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Miriam Marcowitz-Bitton (Contact Author)

Bar-Ilan University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Ramat-Gan, 52900

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