Recommendations (draft)


Recommendation 11

Public information should be available at marginal cost, which in practice means for free.  Exceptions to this rule should pass stringent tests to ensure that the national benefit is actually served by charging for information and thus limiting its reuse by exploiting the monopoly rights conferred by intellectual property regimes.  OPSI (part of The National Archives) should define and consult publicly upon such tests which they then enforce.

RSS feed of comments 5 Responses to “Recommendation 11”

  1. Adopting marginal pricing should have the same effect on some PSI as trumpets at Jericho. However the original Treasury Pricing and Fees guidelines (2001?) for PSI were ostensibly clear and arguably sensible but in reality had some important loopholes which could be – and were – exploited by certain Trading Funds and others.

    In other words we need to ensure that wriggle-room is blocked off and the ground-rules are now clear to all, adhered to and swiftly and properly enforced where they are not – by an organisation with the power to do so. This may not be straightforward. An absolute rule enforcing marginal pricing has advantages.

  2. [...] is accessible public data, unrestrictive licensing regimes, and open APIs (which they discuss in recommendation 10-15).  I’ll be watching this one [...]

  3. [...] is accessible public data, unrestrictive licensing regimes, and open APIs (which they discuss in recommendation 10-15). I’ll be watching this one [...]

  4. The delivery of this can only follow the most rigorous analysis and modelling and in providing data at marginal cost it would still mean funding would have to come from somewhere. Data collection, maintenance and update cannot be done for ‘free’. PSI provision at marginal cost would mean public funding and that would mean investment drawn from taxation.

    Furthermore marginal pricing does not mean the distribution cost is removed, however nominal this may be pro-rata.

  5. Our response reflects a majority view (but is not unanimous). The response does not have the support of the Trading fund representative.

    APPSI acknowledges that marginal cost pricing has strong attractions, and is in favour of its adoption as widely as possible. However the Government should consider the existing charging regimes of public sector bodies before setting out new policies in this area.

    The Government should also taking into account that the infrastructure requirements of providing information can be expensive. As ‘no one size fits all’, APPSI recommends that Government should empower OPSI to provide stronger regulatory supervision of fees set by public bodies for information re-use, to ensure that the calculation of information re-use charges is transparent and justifiable.

    APPSI believes that an extension of marginal pricing should be that no charge is made by a public body for the use of derived products.