1.3 – Other law and policy pertaining to sharing aid information
1.3.1 – Law and policy related to sharing core government information
0 Governments may be legally or politically obliged to permit re-use and re-distribution of certain core government material. In 2008 the OECD recommended that its members make Public Sector Information (PSI) open by default:
0 Openness. Maximising the availability of public sector information for use and re-use based upon presumption of openness as the default rule to facilitate access and re-use. 1
0 In Europe the EU PSI Directive encourages member states to allow material to be re-used. While implementation of the Directive is ongoing, several governments have responded by making their information assets open. For example, in the UK, core government material is made available under a Click Use License (as mentioned in 1.2.3) which is compliant with the Open Knowledge Definition.
0 In the United States Federal government material by law cannot be copyrighted, and hence is in the public domain. Many U.S. government agencies holding data relevant to aid – such as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) – are obliged to release their data into the public domain 2. (Though it should be noted that this is not necessarily the case for U.S. State and Local government.)
0 Furthermore, several governments, including the US (for non-public domain content) and Australia, have used open licenses such as the Creative Commons Attribution license for their material 3.
1.3.2 – Freedom of Information (FOI) laws
0 While Freedom of Information (FOI) laws permit citizens to request access to official documents and datasets – these may not always give permission for the information requested to be republished or re-used. This may limit the extent to which information can be recombined and represented using digital technologies. As discussed in 1.2.4, we strongly suggest that information related to development be made open, not just accessible.
1.3.3 – Privacy laws
See OECD Recommendation of the Council for Enhanced Access and More Effective Use of Public Sector Information (PDF), especially p. 5ff. ↩