European Parliament adopts new EU open data rules

Under these new rules administrative data published by public organizations is as per the open data principles and that it will be re-usable, unless protected by third-party copyright, for any purpose. Agencies, publishing the data, will be able to charge some amount to reproduce, provide and disseminate the information. There may be cases wherein agencies may even be able to charge other costs like interests but, they must be clear and notify the reproducers of the data on the onset about all the charges that may apply.

If things would have gone as per EU Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes’ proposal, the data would have been available for free. The Commissioner said, “Today we can celebrate our efforts to bring government data closer to citizens and businesses in Europe. We are finally getting the much needed legal framework to boost the economy and create new jobs.”

According to the new rules the scope of the Directive has been expanded to include archives, libraries and museums. Further, to protect interests of cultural institutions and general public new rules for digitization agreements have also been introduced. A regulatory authority will be responsible to ensure that all the public organizations provide data in “machine-readable and open formats”. European Union member states have 2 years (24 months) to implement the new rules in their respective national laws.

In a separate blog post Kroes praised the development and the decision for unlocking “the full potential of the open data goldmine.”