Creative Commons and Public Sector Information


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Presentation for LAPSI event in Warsaw on Oct. 20, 2011.

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  • By its plain language, this provision of the Directive seems to require that PSI not be limited to noncommercial reuse. Also, by implication at least, it seems to require that PSI be used in ways that go beyond mere verbatim reproduction. It is hard to see how PSI would be of much use to commercial entities if they were not allowed to adapt and integrate the content into new products.
  • Three of these licenses restrict use of the licensed work to non-commercial uses only. And two of these licenses allow only verbatim reproduction of the licensed content.
  • CC licenses offer permissions in advance, so there is no wait time for people who want to request to reuse PSI. The approval process is completely automated.
  • CC licenses are completely standardized, so conditions are always pre-established and published through electronic means.  
  • Only actual requirement in this article is that the conditions not unnecessarily restrict reuse. Again, this probably rules out the NC and ND licenses. You could also argue it rules out SA licenses because they require derivatives to be licensed under the same license, which hampers possibilities for reuse, especially for commercial entities. But CC BY’s only condition is attribution, which does not restrict reuse because it allows for flexibility. The attribution requirements in CC BY are allowed to be implemented in a reasonable manner. This ensures that there are not burdensome requirements that might restrict reuse of the licensed content. And, of course, CC0 has no legally enforceable conditions on reuse, although the rights holder can still encourage reusers to comply with normative practices for ensuring proper credit and citation.
  • All CC legal tools include metadata that is machine readable. You can search Google or other search engines to find documents subject to particular licenses. This technical infrastructure is already built into the licenses, so it is a simple way for public sector bodies to comply with the Directive without needing any additional technical expertise.  
  • CC tools standardized and non-exclusive
  • Next, will explain how CC tools go above and beyond those requirements to fulfill the broader objectives of the PSI Directive. In the preamble, there are three main principles that underlie the Directive
  • For PSI to be used as raw material, it must be adapted into new works. Licenses that do not allow PSI to be adapted obviously do not fulfill this function. Similarly, licenses that are limited to NC use are impossible to square with the goal of having PSI used to generate economic growth and job creation as outlined in the Directive.
  • Because they allow all types of uses, including adapting the licensed content into new works, CC0 and CC BY are perfectly aligned with this fundamental purpose of the PSI Directive.
  • Throughout the Directive, there are references to the goal of harmonization. Differences in the way PSI is released may create a significant obstacle to reuse, especially across borders. This emphasis makes clear that interoperability is an important goal underlying the Directive. Again, CC tools help achieve this goal. Unlike custom licenses created for a particular entity or jurisdiction, CC tools are used internationally and operate worldwide. This type of standardization is a critical part of interoperability. If the public is required to compare the legal terms of licenses to determine whether content from one license can be remixed with content from another, there is a chilling effect on reuse. Even licenses that are closely aligned may have legal nuances that affect interoperability. The use of standardized public licenses like CC BY eliminates this problem. Of course, CC0 is the simplest way to avoid interoperability problems.
  • CC0 grants permission to use information without any conditions, so in that sense, it is the ultimate in transparency and fairness. But waiving all copyright and related rights to information is not always appropriate or realistic for public sector bodies. Where conditions are required, Creative Commons provides an optimal framework for a number of reasons.
  • CC legal tools use a three-layer design. There is a legal code (the actual license terms written by lawyers), a “human readable” deed (a simple outline of the permissions and restrictions relating to the license), and a “machine readable” format that describes licensing information in way search engines can understand. This framework helps make the tools easy to use and understand by non-lawyers.
  • Another feature of CC tools is that they track existing laws so you know when license applies.  CC licenses are built atop copyright law, which means the conditions only apply when copyright law is implicated. Of course, copyright law is a complex body of law with many territorial variations, but aligning the licenses with copyright ensures there are no restrictions placed on users where they would not otherwise be required to request permission under existing law. In other words, CC tools do not take away any rights the public has otherwise, and this is a fundamental aspect of the CC licensing framework. It ensures fairness. Because CC licenses are so widely used, a huge set of norms already exist with respect to how to reuse CC-licensed material. That means instead of puzzling over how to attribute correctly, users can refer to a widely-accepted set of best practices.
  • Have covered both how CC licenses meet the requirements of the Directive and how they go beyond those minimal requirements to further the larger objectives and purpose of the Directive.
  • Willexplain how CC licenses address concerns that governments and public sector bodies may have when releasing PSI for reuse.
  • Credit - CC BY serves this function by requiring attribution whenever copyright in the work is implicated. Currently, CC licenses do not require attribution when SGDR are implicated, but this is very likely to change in Version 4.0 of the license suite, which will be released in the near future. - CC BY also allows licensors set their preferences for attribution. A licensor may request a specific attribution statement, or attribution to particular parties, such as the government or public sector entity releasing the PSI rather than the author. This helps eliminates attribution stacking problems, where countless numbers of contributor names are required to be included.Non-endorsement - CC BY addresses this concern by including a non-endorsement clause. This clause prohibits uses that suggest or imply that the licensor in any way sponsors, supports, or approves the uses or adaptations of the work. - CC BY also requires reusers to take reasonable steps to clearly label or identify that changes were made to the original work. For example, “this is a translation.” This helps to ensure that the entity releasing the information is not wrongly associated with the creation of the work done by the re-user. Misrepresentation – CC deals with this in 2 ways. First, don’t waive moral rights. Second, include a clause requiring the licensee (or reuser) to remove credit of the licensor upon request. Addressing the issue of misrepresentation in this manner ensures it is done in a way that is transparent and fair.  It tracks requirements that already exist under moral rights law, and it does not impose any additional requirements or limitations on reuse that might be vague or difficult to understand.
  • To conclude, very clear that CC has legal tools that not only comply with the PSI Directive, but they further its objectives in a way that custom licenses cannot. They do all of this without compromising the basic protections that governments and public sector bodies may need when releasing PSI for reuse.
  • we don’t have to give up interoperability and standardization to adequately address the concerns of governments and public sector bodies. Creative Commons offers the best of both worlds.
  • Creative Commons and Public Sector Information

    2. 2. PSI DIRECTIVEArticle 3where reuse is allowed,documents should be re-usablefor commercial or non-commercial purposes
    4. 4. PSI DIRECTIVEArticle 4public sector bodies shallprocess requests for re-usewithin a reasonable time
    5. 5. PSI DIRECTIVEArticle 7any applicable conditions for there-use of documents shall be pre-established and published
    6. 6. PSI DIRECTIVEArticle 8conditions shall notunnecessarily restrictpossibilities for re-use
    7. 7. PSI DIRECTIVEArticle 9ensure that practicalarrangements are in place tofacilitate search of documentsavailable for re-use
    8. 8. PSI DIRECTIVEArticle 10applicable conditions on re-useshall be non-discriminatory forcomparable categories of re-use
    9. 9. = PSI DIRECTIVE
    10. 10. > PSI DIRECTIVE
    11. 11. PSI = RAW MATERIAL ≠ ≠
    12. 12. PSI = RAW MATERIAL = =
    13. 13. HARMONISATION = =
    15. 15. FAIRNESS &TRANSPARENCY - built on © - existing norms
    16. 16. ≥ PSI DIRECTIVE
    17. 17. PSI= PROTECTION
    18. 18. PSI PROTECTIONS - credit - non-endorsement - misrepresentation
    20. 20. interoperability PSIand + PROTECTIONstandardization =
    21. 21. SARAH HINCHLIFF PEARSONOCTOBER 20, 2011Slideshow licensed under CC BY international 3.0 license