Government removes barrier to public data use

Graphic depicting transparency and data; Crown copyright30 September 2010

The Government has relaxed current licensing provisions on public sector information, making it faster and easier for developers and entrepreneurs to re-use it.

From today, information covered by Crown copyright and database rights will be subject to the new UK-wide Open Government Licence. The new licence will be supported by a UK Government Licensing Framework, which sets it within the overall context of the Government’s policy on licensing and the re-use of public sector information.

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and a member of the Public Sector Transparency Board, said:

It’s great to see a simple and straightforward licence for people to re-use government data in any way they want. It will enable inventive people to build innovative new applications and websites which help people in their everyday lives.

Developed by The National Archives, the new licence removes the need to register for a licence, and provides a single set of terms and conditions for anyone wishing to use or license government information. In addition, it is designed to be machine readable and to work in parallel with other internationally-recognised licensing models such as Creative Commons.

The Open Government Licence replaces the Click-Use Licence which has been in use since 2001 across most of the UK public sector and required users to register.

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude, who also chairs the Public Sector Transparency Board, said:

The Open Government Licence signals our commitment not only to publish the data but allow everyone to use it freely, helping to create a new era of social entrepreneurs.

Find out more about the Open Government Licence [external website].

Find out more about the UK Government Licensing Framework [external website].

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