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UK.gov refines pub sector software code, database re-use licence

It's got the word 'open' in it

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UK public sector workers have been handed a new Open Government licence this morning from The National Archives office that allows easier re-use of some gov data.

It is interoperable with the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence, but it also comes loaded with a number of restrictions.

Public sector employees throughout Blighty can use the licence, which covers databases and software source codes to copy, publish and distribute information. Data can additionally be adapted and “exploited” commercially, said The National Archives office.

The terms of the licence demands that the source of the data is attributed and that no “official status” is inferred when using the information. Users are also required to obey the Data Protection Act.

There are a number of pretty obvious exemptions where the licence cannot be used.

They include personal data in the information; departmental or public sector organisation logos and the Royal Arms “except where they form an integral part of a document or dataset”; and information subject to other Intellectual Property rights, such as patents and trademarks.

The licence overhaul improves on the government's so-called "Click-Use" licence by covering re-use of databases and software source codes originating from pub sec bodies.

Apps developers working on government projects will likely welcome the new terms, but convincing local authorities and government departments to release data under the licence could yet prove a stumbling block.

Meanwhile, the data.gov.uk website - which first tested out the licence - is currently having a little lie down. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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