UK Gov launches open licence for public data

The UK government has announced the launch of an ‘Open Government’ licence, allowing the free use of public sector information by third parties.

Version 1.0 of the licence, released today, has been developed by Her Majesty’s Stationery Office as a simple way for public sector bodies to grant rights for the re-use of their copyright material.

The terms of the licence, available from the National Archives website, are broadly in line with those of the more familiar Creative Commons and Open Data Commons Attribution licences.

The licence covers a range of public sector information, including Crown Copyright, as well as source code for public sector IT projects and database information. It can be used by information providers across the entire public sector to licence out their content.

A number of high-profile public sector bodies, including Transport for London, have pioneered the release of public sector data to application developers, enabling them to create apps providing info such as real-time transport updates, as well as Ordnance Survey map data.

Commenting on the launch of the new licence, Lord McNally, Minister for The National Archives and Public Sector Information, said: 'The National Archives isn't simply a repository of our nation's history, its task is to bring information to life, make it accessible and enable its re-use. This innovative licence gives everyone the opportunity to create products and services which benefit society.'

More information on general policy concerning the re-use of public sector information is set out in the UK Government Licensing Framework.