UK moves towards opening government data
Jane Park, January 21st, 2010
In a step towards openness, the UK has opened up its data to be interoperable with the Attribution Only license (CC BY). The National Archives, a department responsible for â€śsetting standards and supporting innovation in information and records management across the UK,â€ť has realigned the terms and conditions of data.gov.uk to accommodate this shift. Data.gov.uk is â€śan online point of access for government-held non-personal data.â€ť All content on the site is now available for reuse under CC BY. This step expresses the UKâ€™s commitment to opening its data, as they work towards a Creative Commons model that is more open than their former Click-Use Licenses. From the blog post,
â€śThis is the first major step towards the adoption of a non-transactional, Creative Commons style approach to licensing the re-use of government information.
The Governmentâ€™s commitment in Putting the Frontline First: smarter government is to â€śestablish a common licence to re-use data which is interoperable with the internationally recognised Creative Commons modelâ€ť. This is key to supporting new information initiatives such as the beta release of data.gov.uk also launched today to promote transparency, public service improvement and economic growth.â€ť
We at CC are thrilled by this new development and congratulate the UK for this move. Though we are confident that this shift will increase the UKâ€™s capacity to foster reuse, collaboration, and innovation in government and the world, we hope to see the UK as well as other governments move in the future towards even fuller openness and the preferred standard for open data via CC Zero, a tool that â€śenables scientists, educators, artists and other creators and owners of copyright-protected content to waive copyright interests in their works and thereby place them as completely as possible in the public domain, so that others may freely build upon, enhance and reuse the works for any purposes without restriction under copyright.â€ť
This would not have been possible without the hard work of Creative Commons teams in the UK, especially that of Dr. Prodromos Tsiavos, our CC England and Wales Legal Project Lead. Check out the press release, the PerSpectIves or data.gov.uk blog, and the Guardian article for more details.