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Europe’s proposed PSI Directive: A good baseline for future open data policies?

- June 21, 2018 in eu, licence, Open Data, Open Government Data, Open Standards, Policy, PSI, research

Some weeks ago, the European Commission proposed an update of the PSI Directive**. The PSI Directive regulates the reuse of public sector information (including administrative government data), and has important consequences for the development of Europe’s open data policies. Like every legislative proposal, the PSI Directive proposal is open for public feedback until July 13. In this blog post Open Knowledge International presents what we think are necessary improvements to make the PSI Directive fit for Europe’s Digital Single Market.    In a guest blogpost Ton Zijlstra outlined the changes to the PSI Directive. Another blog post by Ton Zijlstra and Katleen Janssen helps to understand the historical background and puts the changes into context. Whilst improvements are made, we think the current proposal is a missed opportunity, does not support the creation of a Digital Single Market and can pose risks for open data. In what follows, we recommend changes to the European Parliament and the European Council. We also discuss actions civil society may take to engage with the directive in the future, and explain the reasoning behind our recommendations.

Recommendations to improve the PSI Directive

Based on our assessment, we urge the European Parliament and the Council to amend the proposed PSI Directive to ensure the following:
  • When defining high-value datasets, the PSI Directive should not rule out data generated under market conditions. A stronger requirement must be added to Article 13 to make assessments of economic costs transparent, and weigh them against broader societal benefits.
  • The public must have access to the methods, meeting notes, and consultations to define high value data. Article 13 must ensure that the public will be able to participate in this definition process to gather multiple viewpoints and limit the risks of biased value assessments.
  • Beyond tracking proposals for high-value datasets in the EU’s Interinstitutional Register of Delegated Acts, the public should be able to suggest new delegated acts for high-value datasets.  
  • The PSI Directive must make clear what “standard open licences” are, by referencing the Open Definition, and explicitly recommending the adoption of Open Definition compliant licences (from Creative Commons and Open Data Commons) when developing new open data policies. The directive should give preference to public domain dedication and attribution licences in accordance with the LAPSI 2.0 licensing guidelines.
  • Government of EU member states that already have policies on specific licences in use should be required to add legal compatibility tests with other open licences to these policies. We suggest to follow the recommendations outlined in the LAPSI 2.0 resources to run such compatibility tests.
  • High-value datasets must be reusable with the least restrictions possible, subject at most to requirements that preserve provenance and openness. Currently the European Commission risks to create use silos if governments will be allowed to add “any restrictions on re-use” to the use terms of high-value datasets.  
  • Publicly funded undertakings should only be able to charge marginal costs.
  • Public undertakings, publicly funded research facilities and non-executive government branches should be required to publish data referenced in the PSI Directive.

Conformant licences according to the Open Definition, opendefinition.org/licenses

Our recommendations do not pose unworkable requirements or disproportionately high administrative burden, but are essential to realise the goals of the PSI directive with regards to:
  1. Increasing the amount of public sector data available to the public for re-use,
  2. Harmonising the conditions for non-discrimination, and re-use in the European market,
  3. Ensuring fair competition and easy access to markets based on public sector information,
  4. Enhancing cross-border innovation, and an internal market where Union-wide services can be created to support the European data economy.

Our recommendations, explained: What would the proposed PSI Directive mean for the future of open data?

Publication of high-value data

The European Commission proposes to define a list of ‘high value datasets’ that shall be published under the terms of the PSI Directive. This includes to publish datasets in machine-readable formats, under standard open licences, in many cases free of charge, except when high-value datasets are collected by public undertakings in environments where free access to data would distort competition. “High value datasets” are defined as documents that bring socio-economic benefits, “notably because of their suitability for the creation of value-added services and applications, and the number of potential beneficiaries of the value-added services and applications based on these datasets”. The EC also makes reference to existing high value datasets, such as the list of key data defined by the G8 Open Data Charter. Identifying high-quality data poses at least three problems:
  1. High-value datasets may be unusable in a digital Single Market: The EC may “define other applicable modalities”, such as “any conditions for re-use”. There is a risk that a list of EU-wide high value datasets also includes use restrictions violating the Open Definition. Given that a list of high value datasets will be transposed by all member states, adding “any conditions” may significantly hinder the reusability and ability to combine datasets.
  2. Defining value of data is not straightforward. Recent papers, from Oxford University, to Open Data Watch and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data demonstrate disagreement what data’s “value” is. What counts as high value data should not only be based on quantitative indicators such as growth indicators, numbers of apps or numbers of beneficiaries, but use qualitative assessments and expert judgement from multiple disciplines.
  3. Public deliberation and participation is key to define high value data and to avoid biased value assessments. Impact assessments and cost-benefit calculations come with their own methodical biases, and can unfairly favour data with economic value at the expense of fuzzier social benefits. Currently, the PSI Directive does not consider data created under market conditions to be considered high value data if this would distort market conditions. We recommend that the PSI Directive adds a stronger requirement to weigh economic costs against societal benefits, drawing from multiple assessment methods (see point 2). The criteria, methods, and processes to determine high value must be transparent and accessible to the broader public to enable the public to negotiate benefits and to reflect the viewpoints of many stakeholders.

Expansion of scope

The new PSI Directive takes into account data from “public undertakings”. This includes services in the general interest entrusted with entities outside of the public sector, over which government maintains a high degree of control. The PSI Directive also includes data from non-executive government branches (i.e. from legislative and judiciary branches of governments), as well as data from publicly funded research. Opportunities and challenges include:
  • None of the data holders which are planned to be included in the PSI Directive are obliged to publish data. It is at their discretion to publish data. Only in case they want to publish data, they should follow the guidelines of the proposed PSI directive.
  • The PSI Directive wants to keep administrative costs low. All above mentioned data sectors are exempt from data access requests.
  • In summary, the proposed PSI Directive leaves too much space for individual choice to publish data and has no “teeth”. To accelerate the publication of general interest data, the PSI Directive should oblige data holders to publish data. Waiting several years to make the publication of this data mandatory, as happened with the first version of the PSI Directive risks to significantly hamper the availability of key data, important for the acceleration of growth in Europe’s data economy.    
  • For research data in particular, only data that is already published should fall under the new directive. Even though the PSI Directive will require member states to develop open access policies, the implementation thereof should be built upon the EU’s recommendations for open access.

Legal incompatibilities may jeopardise the Digital Single Market

Most notably, the proposed PSI Directive does not address problems around licensing which are a major impediment for Europe’s Digital Single Market. Europe’s data economy can only benefit from open data if licence terms are standardised. This allows data from different member states to be combined without legal issues, and enables to combine datasets, create cross-country applications, and spark innovation. Europe’s licensing ecosystem is a patchwork of many (possibly conflicting) terms, creating use silos and legal uncertainty. But the current proposal does not only speak vaguely about standard open licences, and makes national policies responsible to add “less restrictive terms than those outlined in the PSI Directive”. It also contradicts its aim to smoothen the digital Single Market encouraging the creation of bespoke licences, suggesting that governments may add new licence terms with regards to real-time data publication. Currently the PSI Directive would allow the European Commission to add “any conditions for re-use” to high-value datasets, thereby encouraging to create legal incompatibilities (see Article 13 (4.a)). We strongly recommend that the PSI Directive draws on the EU co-funded LAPSI 2.0 recommendations to understand licence incompatibilities and ensure a compatible open licence ecosystem.   I’d like to thank Pierre Chrzanowksi, Mika Honkanen, Susanna Ånäs, and Sander van der Waal for their thoughtful comments while writing this blogpost.   Image adapted from Max Pixel   ** Its’ official name is the Directive 2003/98/EC on the reuse of public sector information.

Europe’s proposed PSI Directive: A good baseline for future open data policies?

- June 21, 2018 in eu, licence, Open Data, Open Government Data, Open Standards, Policy, PSI, research

Some weeks ago, the European Commission proposed an update of the PSI Directive**. The PSI Directive regulates the reuse of public sector information (including administrative government data), and has important consequences for the development of Europe’s open data policies. Like every legislative proposal, the PSI Directive proposal is open for public feedback until July 13. In this blog post Open Knowledge International presents what we think are necessary improvements to make the PSI Directive fit for Europe’s Digital Single Market.    In a guest blogpost Ton Zijlstra outlined the changes to the PSI Directive. Another blog post by Ton Zijlstra and Katleen Janssen helps to understand the historical background and puts the changes into context. Whilst improvements are made, we think the current proposal is a missed opportunity, does not support the creation of a Digital Single Market and can pose risks for open data. In what follows, we recommend changes to the European Parliament and the European Council. We also discuss actions civil society may take to engage with the directive in the future, and explain the reasoning behind our recommendations.

Recommendations to improve the PSI Directive

Based on our assessment, we urge the European Parliament and the Council to amend the proposed PSI Directive to ensure the following:
  • When defining high-value datasets, the PSI Directive should not rule out data generated under market conditions. A stronger requirement must be added to Article 13 to make assessments of economic costs transparent, and weigh them against broader societal benefits.
  • The public must have access to the methods, meeting notes, and consultations to define high value data. Article 13 must ensure that the public will be able to participate in this definition process to gather multiple viewpoints and limit the risks of biased value assessments.
  • Beyond tracking proposals for high-value datasets in the EU’s Interinstitutional Register of Delegated Acts, the public should be able to suggest new delegated acts for high-value datasets.  
  • The PSI Directive must make clear what “standard open licences” are, by referencing the Open Definition, and explicitly recommending the adoption of Open Definition compliant licences (from Creative Commons and Open Data Commons) when developing new open data policies. The directive should give preference to public domain dedication and attribution licences in accordance with the LAPSI 2.0 licensing guidelines.
  • Government of EU member states that already have policies on specific licences in use should be required to add legal compatibility tests with other open licences to these policies. We suggest to follow the recommendations outlined in the LAPSI 2.0 resources to run such compatibility tests.
  • High-value datasets must be reusable with the least restrictions possible, subject at most to requirements that preserve provenance and openness. Currently the European Commission risks to create use silos if governments will be allowed to add “any restrictions on re-use” to the use terms of high-value datasets.  
  • Publicly funded undertakings should only be able to charge marginal costs.
  • Public undertakings, publicly funded research facilities and non-executive government branches should be required to publish data referenced in the PSI Directive.

Conformant licences according to the Open Definition, opendefinition.org/licenses

Our recommendations do not pose unworkable requirements or disproportionately high administrative burden, but are essential to realise the goals of the PSI directive with regards to:
  1. Increasing the amount of public sector data available to the public for re-use,
  2. Harmonising the conditions for non-discrimination, and re-use in the European market,
  3. Ensuring fair competition and easy access to markets based on public sector information,
  4. Enhancing cross-border innovation, and an internal market where Union-wide services can be created to support the European data economy.

Our recommendations, explained: What would the proposed PSI Directive mean for the future of open data?

Publication of high-value data

The European Commission proposes to define a list of ‘high value datasets’ that shall be published under the terms of the PSI Directive. This includes to publish datasets in machine-readable formats, under standard open licences, in many cases free of charge, except when high-value datasets are collected by public undertakings in environments where free access to data would distort competition. “High value datasets” are defined as documents that bring socio-economic benefits, “notably because of their suitability for the creation of value-added services and applications, and the number of potential beneficiaries of the value-added services and applications based on these datasets”. The EC also makes reference to existing high value datasets, such as the list of key data defined by the G8 Open Data Charter. Identifying high-quality data poses at least three problems:
  1. High-value datasets may be unusable in a digital Single Market: The EC may “define other applicable modalities”, such as “any conditions for re-use”. There is a risk that a list of EU-wide high value datasets also includes use restrictions violating the Open Definition. Given that a list of high value datasets will be transposed by all member states, adding “any conditions” may significantly hinder the reusability and ability to combine datasets.
  2. Defining value of data is not straightforward. Recent papers, from Oxford University, to Open Data Watch and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data demonstrate disagreement what data’s “value” is. What counts as high value data should not only be based on quantitative indicators such as growth indicators, numbers of apps or numbers of beneficiaries, but use qualitative assessments and expert judgement from multiple disciplines.
  3. Public deliberation and participation is key to define high value data and to avoid biased value assessments. Impact assessments and cost-benefit calculations come with their own methodical biases, and can unfairly favour data with economic value at the expense of fuzzier social benefits. Currently, the PSI Directive does not consider data created under market conditions to be considered high value data if this would distort market conditions. We recommend that the PSI Directive adds a stronger requirement to weigh economic costs against societal benefits, drawing from multiple assessment methods (see point 2). The criteria, methods, and processes to determine high value must be transparent and accessible to the broader public to enable the public to negotiate benefits and to reflect the viewpoints of many stakeholders.

Expansion of scope

The new PSI Directive takes into account data from “public undertakings”. This includes services in the general interest entrusted with entities outside of the public sector, over which government maintains a high degree of control. The PSI Directive also includes data from non-executive government branches (i.e. from legislative and judiciary branches of governments), as well as data from publicly funded research. Opportunities and challenges include:
  • None of the data holders which are planned to be included in the PSI Directive are obliged to publish data. It is at their discretion to publish data. Only in case they want to publish data, they should follow the guidelines of the proposed PSI directive.
  • The PSI Directive wants to keep administrative costs low. All above mentioned data sectors are exempt from data access requests.
  • In summary, the proposed PSI Directive leaves too much space for individual choice to publish data and has no “teeth”. To accelerate the publication of general interest data, the PSI Directive should oblige data holders to publish data. Waiting several years to make the publication of this data mandatory, as happened with the first version of the PSI Directive risks to significantly hamper the availability of key data, important for the acceleration of growth in Europe’s data economy.    
  • For research data in particular, only data that is already published should fall under the new directive. Even though the PSI Directive will require member states to develop open access policies, the implementation thereof should be built upon the EU’s recommendations for open access.

Legal incompatibilities may jeopardise the Digital Single Market

Most notably, the proposed PSI Directive does not address problems around licensing which are a major impediment for Europe’s Digital Single Market. Europe’s data economy can only benefit from open data if licence terms are standardised. This allows data from different member states to be combined without legal issues, and enables to combine datasets, create cross-country applications, and spark innovation. Europe’s licensing ecosystem is a patchwork of many (possibly conflicting) terms, creating use silos and legal uncertainty. But the current proposal does not only speak vaguely about standard open licences, and makes national policies responsible to add “less restrictive terms than those outlined in the PSI Directive”. It also contradicts its aim to smoothen the digital Single Market encouraging the creation of bespoke licences, suggesting that governments may add new licence terms with regards to real-time data publication. Currently the PSI Directive would allow the European Commission to add “any conditions for re-use” to high-value datasets, thereby encouraging to create legal incompatibilities (see Article 13 (4.a)). We strongly recommend that the PSI Directive draws on the EU co-funded LAPSI 2.0 recommendations to understand licence incompatibilities and ensure a compatible open licence ecosystem.   I’d like to thank Pierre Chrzanowksi, Mika Honkanen, Susanna Ånäs, and Sander van der Waal for their thoughtful comments while writing this blogpost.   Image adapted from Max Pixel   ** Its’ official name is the Directive 2003/98/EC on the reuse of public sector information.

Riutilizzo dell’informazione giuridica: il progetto JurisWiki

- May 21, 2015 in diritto, interviste, JurisWiki, law, legal content, Open Content, Open Data, Open Government Data, openaccess, openknowledge, PSI, Riuso

Il fenomeno dell’open content si è soffermato principalmente sugli open data, poiché per certi versi consentono una maggiore semplicità di approccio rispetto ad altri tipi di informazioni. E’ il caso dell’informazione giuridica, che non è mai dato a sé stante, ma complesso articolato di espressioni linguistiche: leggi e decisioni dei giudici, nell’immaginario collettivo, non vengono facilmente […]

Riutilizzo dell’informazione giuridica: il progetto JurisWiki

- May 21, 2015 in diritto, interviste, JurisWiki, law, legal content, Open Content, Open Data, Open Government Data, openaccess, openknowledge, PSI, Riuso

Il fenomeno dell’open content si è soffermato principalmente sugli open data, poiché per certi versi consentono una maggiore semplicità di approccio rispetto ad altri tipi di informazioni. E’ il caso dell’informazione giuridica, che non è mai dato a sé stante, ma complesso articolato di espressioni linguistiche: leggi e decisioni dei giudici, nell’immaginario collettivo, non vengono facilmente […]

Riutilizzo dell’informazione giuridica: il progetto JurisWiki

- May 21, 2015 in diritto, interviste, JurisWiki, law, legal content, Open Content, Open Data, Open Government Data, openaccess, openknowledge, PSI, Riuso

Il fenomeno dell’open content si è soffermato principalmente sugli open data, poiché per certi versi consentono una maggiore semplicità di approccio rispetto ad altri tipi di informazioni. E’ il caso dell’informazione giuridica, che non è mai dato a sé stante, ma complesso articolato di espressioni linguistiche: leggi e decisioni dei giudici, nell’immaginario collettivo, non vengono facilmente […]

Riutilizzo dell’informazione giuridica: il progetto JurisWiki

- May 21, 2015 in diritto, interviste, JurisWiki, law, legal content, Open Content, Open Data, Open Government Data, openaccess, openknowledge, PSI, Riuso

Il fenomeno dell’open content si è soffermato principalmente sugli open data, poiché per certi versi consentono una maggiore semplicità di approccio rispetto ad altri tipi di informazioni. E’ il caso dell’informazione giuridica, che non è mai dato a sé stante, ma complesso articolato di espressioni linguistiche: leggi e decisioni dei giudici, nell’immaginario collettivo, non vengono facilmente […]

Submission by Open Knowledge Ireland to the Public Consultation on Open Data Licences

- March 18, 2015 in DPER, Ireland, licence, OGP Action Plan, OKFN Ireland, Open Data Ireland, Open Knowledge Ireland, PSI, Public Consultation

Date: 18 March 2015 at 11:00
Subject: Submission by Open Knowledge Ireland to the Public Consultation on Open Data Licences
To: opendata@per.gov.ie
Cc: “open-data-ireland@googlegroups.com” <open-data-ireland@googlegroups.com>

< p dir="ltr">

Sir / Madam,

Please find attached the submission by Open Knowledge Ireland to the public consultation on open data licences.

Open Knowledge Ireland is very pleased at the Government’s decision to invite views on an open data policy for Ireland and the decision to review the Public Sector Information (PSI) licence.

Open Knowledge Ireland (OK Ireland) is a regional chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation. The OK Ireland is at the forefront of Ireland’s Open Data community with the aim of developing a self-sustainable, enabling ecosystem for open data to empower citizens and organisations to make better informed, evidence-based decisions.

OK Ireland promotes open data culture through regular weekly, monthly and quarterly community engagements. Our events have been attended by thought leaders and notable civic activists.  Between October 2012 and January 2015, OK Ireland has successfully organised 15 community meetups, 5 hackathons, one Open Data training day and one OGP Civil Society day, with a total of over 1000 participants.We facilitate development of practical engagement with open data repositories. We organize training events, in which participants develop practical skills.

OK Ireland is supported by a number of organizations which make world-class technology resources available for fostering innovative projects. For example, CKAN, the world’s leading open-source data portal platform, was developed by the non-profit Open Knowledge Foundation and is today overseen and managed by the CKAN Association. CKAN is currently used by governments and organizations worldwide to power both official and community data portals, including the Irish Government Data Portal http://data.gov.ie/.

Members of OK Ireland are technology experts and experienced civic activists, with expertise in implementing the best global open data practices and tacit knowledge of unique challenges in Ireland. In September 2013, facilitated by a community engagement day, volunteers audited and catalogued datasets originally published by Irish government agencies. This exercise became a foundation for our input into the Global Open Data Census. At the same event, an Irish instance of CKAN, the worlds most advanced data repository, was deployed. For your convenience, the submission to the Public Consultation on Open Data Licences is also available online here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QWL9U2_-lpEUsaV1wy6qt0iarU2_qmmvT17MFI7e_M0/edit?usp=sharing

Best regards,

Denis Our submission document: Submission by Open Knowledge Ireland to the public consultation on open data licences.pdf

La nuova direttiva PSI: buona come sembra?

- April 24, 2013 in ePSI, Licenze, Open Data, PSI, Riuso

Il seguente testo è una libera traduzione dell’articolo originale: https://blog.okfn.org/2013/04/19/the-new-psi-directive-as-good-as-it-seems/ Uno sguardo ravvicinato alla nuova direttiva PSI di Ton Zijlstra e Katleen Jansen image by European People’s Party CC-BY-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons ll 10 Aprile, la Vice Presidentessa della Commissione Europea, Neelie Kroes, responsabile dell’Agenda Digitale Europea, ha annunciato che gli Stati Membri dell’Unione Europea hanno approvato un […]

Call for Papers: D-A-CH-LI-Konferenz

- January 23, 2013 in Behörden, Featured, Konferenz, open-government, PSI, Termine

dachli 2. Konferenz der OGD-D-A-CH-LI-Reihe unter dem Motto: “Open Government – Bürgernähe durch Kulturwandel” Am 16. Mai 2013 lädt der Behörden Spiegel gemeinsam mit den Kooperationspartnern Land Berlin, Digitales Österreich, ADV, und E-Government Schweiz zur zweiten Open Government Data D-A-CH-LI- Konferenz nach Berlin ein. Die Konferenzreihe wurde ins Leben gerufen, um den Austausch und die engere Kooperation der deutschsprachigen Akteure bezüglich Open Government Data zu fördern. OGD D-A-CH-LI sieht sich als Plattform zum Erfahrungsaustausch der Stakeholdergruppen Politik, Verwaltung, BürgerInnen, Wirtschaft und Wissenschaft im D-A-CH-LI- Raum. Über 150 Open Government- Verantwortliche aus Deutschland, der Schweiz, Österreich, Liechtenstein werden erwartet. Dieser Call for Papers (für eine Beteiligung am Programm der Konferenz) richtet sich an Politik und Verwaltung, Wissenschaft, Wirtschaft und Zivilgesellschaft zur Beteiligung am Programm der Konferenz.
 
Themen hierbei sind unter anderem:
  • Lizenzmodelle für Verwaltungsdaten
  • Metadatenkataloge
  • Aufbau eines Open Government Data-Ökosystems
  • Open Government in Aus- und Weiterbildung (Data Schools)
  • Open Government Data Portale der (öffentlichen) Wirtschaft
  • Open Government Data und Datenschutz
  • Umsetzung der geplanten neuen PSI-Richtlinie
  • Linked Open Government Data
Gerne nehmen wir auch Vorschläge über weitere Themen entgegen.
Wir freuen uns über Einsendungen bis zum 28. März 2013 (max. 5.000 Zeichen) auf elektronischem Weg an sonja.bechtold@behoerdenspiegel.de. Über Möglichkeiten der Beteiligung am Programm der zweiten ODG-D-A-CH-LI- Konferenz werden wir Sie rechtzeitig informieren. Mitglieder des Programmkomitees sind:
  • Dr. Peter Parycek, Donau-Universität Krems
  • Prof. Reinhard Riedl, Fachhochschule Bern
  • Prof. Jörn von Lucke, Zeppelin Universität
Weitere Informationen zur OGD-D-A-CH-LI-Konferenzreihe gibt es unter: www.effizienterstaat.eu und unter http://ogd.adv.at. Unter www.government2020.de/blog/?p=1147 gibt es das Diskussionspapier zur OGD-Zusammenarbeit in der D-A-CH- Region, mit dem ein erster Rahmen der OGD-D-A-CH-LI- Kooperation beschrieben wurden. Melden Sie sich schon jetzt an unter: http://www.effizienterstaat.eu/Anmeldung/ Die Konferenz ist für Angehörige des Öffentlichen Dienstes kostenfrei.

Difendiamo formati aperti per l’informazione del settore pubblico in Europa!

- December 7, 2012 in europa, formati aperti, Open Data, PSI, Riuso

(traduzione dell’articolo Let’s defend Open Formats for Public Sector Information in Europe! scritto dall’organizzazione Regards Citoyens al 3 dicembre 2012) In seguito ad alcune osservazioni di Richard Swetenham della Commissione europea , abbiamo fatto alcune modifiche relative al processo del dialogo a tre e le fasi successive: il trilogo inizierà le sue riunioni il 17 [...]