European Open Data Strategy Announced!

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This morning European Commission Vice President announced an Open Data strategy for Europe.

She announced an open data revolution to help turn "government data into gold". (Watch the video below)
Saying today's announcement "will radically shake up" how data is being made available for re-use, she outlined the steps the EC is prepared to take.

All data generated by public bodies, will be made available for re-use. Open data will be the norm, rather than the exception, and the EC aims to puts itself in "the top of the class", Commissioner Kroes said.

The EC itself will open up its data for re-use in the first half of 2012, with a test version of the data portal to provide that access already being ready. Other agencies will be pushed to join that initiative, which is to serve as an example for individual Member States. "We will dare the Member States" to outdo the EC in opening up data, was the challenge Mrs Kroes put before other public sector bodies.

The Commission proposes to update the 2003 Directive on the re-use of public sector information (PSI Directive 2003/98) by:

  • Making it a general rule that all documents made accessible by public sector bodies can be re-used for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, unless protected by third party copyright;
  • Establishing the principle that public bodies should not be allowed to charge more than costs triggered by the individual request for data (marginal costs); in practice this means most data will be offered for free or virtually for free, unless duly justified.
  • Making it compulsory to provide data in commonly-used, machine-readable formats, to ensure data can be effectively re-used.
  • Introducing regulatory oversight to enforce these principles;
  • Massively expanding the reach of the Directive to include libraries, museums and archives for the first time; the existing 2003 rules will apply to data from such institutions.