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UK Government Licensing Framework (PDF, 0.31Mb)

1 Introduction to the UK Government Licensing Framework

The UK Government Licensing Framework (UKGLF) provides a policy and legal overview for licensing the re-use of public sector information both in central government and the wider public sector. It sets out best practice, standardises the licensing principles for government information and recommends the use of the UK Open Government Licence (OGL) for public sector information.

The UK Government recognises the importance of public sector information and its social and economic value beyond the purpose for which it was originally created. The public sector therefore needs to ensure that simple licensing processes are in place to enable and encourage civil society, social entrepreneurs and the private sector to re-use this information in order to:

  • promote creative and innovative activities, which will deliver social and economic benefits for the UK
  • make government more transparent and open in its activities, ensuring that the public are better informed about the work of the government and the public sector
  • enable more civic and democratic engagement through social enterprise and voluntary and community activities.

At the heart of the UKGLF is a simple, non-transactional licence – the Open Government Licence – which all public sector bodies can use to make their information available for free re-use on simple, flexible terms.

1.1 Who should read this?

This UKGLF has been developed in order to meet the needs and interests of:

  • the public, including community groups and social organisations
  • the information re-user community, in both the private sector and in civil society
  • the public data developer community.

This Framework sets out the policy and legal context under which re-use of public sector information should take place and is therefore aimed primarily at all public sector information holders. In making their information available for re-use the UKGLF:

  • directs central government departments and agencies
  • strongly encourages Information Fair Trader Scheme (IFTS) members
  • invites the wider public sector

to adopt:

  • the policies and principles set out in the UKGLF in their licensing activities
  • the Open Government Licence as the standard licence for freely available public sector information.

1.2 Status of the Framework and Open Government Licence

The UKGLF and Open Government Licence are being launched in beta form because we recognise that:

  • they can be developed and improved through further feedback from the public and other stakeholders
  • the approach should be open to further testing after launch.

      We welcome comments and views about the UKGLF and Open Government Licence approach from all stakeholders. We would like to know, for example, whether the UKGLF provides adequate context and policy principles and whether the Open Government Licence is clear and easy to use. Are there alternative ways of meeting the needs of public sector information users?

      1.3 Scope

      The UKGLF and Open Government Licence enable the following type of information to be used and re-used:

      • non-personal information collected and produced by government and the public sector, including works subject to copyright and database right (much of this information will be accessible on public sector web sites or already published by the public sector)
      • previously unpublished datasets released by the public sector on portals, such as; and
      • original and open source software and source code.
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