CC and PSI: New Data FAQs, Participate in 4.0 Discussions

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Last year we discussed on the ePSIplatform how Creative Commons tools can be leveraged to help share public sector information. In that post we explained how CC licenses and public domain tools can be used to support the needs of governments and other public sector bodies that wish to share information so that: 1) PSI publishers--where desired--receive credit through proper attribution, while simultaneously safeguarding their reputations when information is re-used; 2) the integrity of the information shared by PSI providers is preserved; and 3) the PSI can be easily located and reuse rights made clear to the public.

The ePSIplatform has documented the excitement and activity of governments around the world in taking the leap in sharing public sector information. At the same time, many governments continue to grapple with the best legal and technical mechanisms to share PSI. They are looking for viable, easy-to-implement open licensing solutions for government data and other public sector information. Particular attention has been paid to the petabytes of data produced and meant to be widely shared and reused by scientists, journalists, environmental researchers, community activists, and even other public servants. At Creative Commons, we’ve done a lot of thinking about data in the past year, and we recently published a set of detailed FAQs designed to help explain how CC licenses work with data and databases.

We hope this refreshed set of FAQs is useful in clearing up any residual confusion about how the version 3.0 CC licenses treat sui generis database rights. Also, the publication of an updated set of FAQs on data and databases is timely as CC begins its 4.0 license versioning process. A central goal for version 4.0 is to adjust the licenses to be maximally useful for governments and PSI publishers everywhere. By ensuring that the license is responsive to the needs of PSI publishers, we work towards the related goal of reducing license proliferation and the massive interoperability problems that arise from the creation of non-standardized custom licenses. 

But such work does not take place in a vacuum. As we prepare for version 4.0, we ask the broad PSI community to provide expert input and help us re-examine various aspects of the license so that it meets the requirements and expectations of public sector bodies looking to share content and data with the world. Please contribute to the discussions about licensing database rights in 4.0, as well as other related issues. Now is the time to jump into the discussion. We welcome all to do so.

Also see:
Creative Commons v4.0 in 2012 (ePSIplatform news item)
Creative Commons and Public Sector Information: Flexible tools to support PSI creators and re-users, one of the ePSIplatform's Topic Reports.