Yesterday, the European Parliament formally adopted the updated EU open data Directive, requiring member states to make public sector information available in an easy to access and re-useable format.
Public sector information refers to data produced, stored or collected by public sector bodies. Even though public sector information represents an enormous economic potential, studies conducted on behalf of the European Commission showed that industry and citizens still faced difficulties in finding and re-using such data.
When fully implemented, new EU rules will:
- Create a genuine right to re-use public information, not present in the original Directive; All public data not covered by one of the exceptions will become re-usable;
- Massively expand the reach of the Directive to include libraries, museums and archives for the first time;
- Establish that public sector bodies can charge at maximum the marginal cost for reproduction, provision and dissemination of the information. In exceptional cases, full cost recovery (plus a reasonable return on investment) will remain possible;
- Oblige public sector bodies to be more transparent about the charging rules and conditions they apply;
- Encourage the availability of Governmental data in machine-readable and open formats;
- Introduce new rules on digitisation agreements, which will support public private partnerships while protecting the cultural sector institutions and the interests of the general public.
The Commission will start developing a series of guidelines on the most relevant elements addressed in the Directive, such as licensing, datasets and charging arrangement.