[OSM-talk-ie] Open Data Licencing in Ireland - Important for OSM in Ireland

Dave Corley davecorley at gmail.com
Thu Feb 26 22:53:53 UTC 2015

Hi everyone,

I wanted to draw your attention to a release from the Dept. of Public
Enterprise & Reform [1] on Feb 12th in which the Minister, Brendan
Howlin, launched a policy paper looking for feedback regarding the
type of licence to be applied in the future to data released by the
Irish Govt. through data.gov.ie [2].

In the release, the main information you need is contained in the
policy paper (word document) [3]. In it, the case is made for various
different licence options.

I would strongly encourage everyone on this list to take 10-15 minutes
to have a read through the policy document [3] and to give their views
on the licence options listed. The closing date for submissions is
18th March 2015 so you have a bit of time, please do give this the
time it deserves and send a mail to [4].

Why is this important to OpenStreetMap?

The irish govt. has signed up to the OGP (Open Government Partnership)
and has committed to releasing large swathes of govt. data under open
licences to allow it to be used by anyone. This is still in its early
stages but will become more important over the next year or two as
more elements are locked down. In the OpenStreetMap context, it is
vital that the right licence is chosen to allow us to even consider
using any data that might be opened up. The policy document swings
between either going the PD (Public domain) route where the govt.
relinquishes all rights and its basically a free-for-all with the data
to alternatively going down the CC-BY route, where all that is
required is attribution.

Either option is compatible with OSM and will allow us to make use of
any data released.

Why is this important to everyone in general?

One additional option listed is Share-Alike (CC-BY-SA) licencing which
will not be compatible with OSM licencing. If you are making a
submission, I would ask that you call out the lack of suitability of
any licence that requires share-alike as it will suit very few data
consumers and will limit the data usage from academics, commercial
entities, OSM etc. About the only group that would benefit from a
CC-BY-SA licence is Wikipedia, but that is about all.

Once the licence is chosen, if the wrong one is chosen, it will take a
herculean effort to get it changed and would take several years so
this is the point at which you want to make your voice heard regarding
this issue.


1 - http://www.per.gov.ie/minister-howlin-launches-open-data-licences-paper-for-public-consultation-at-public-service-seminar/
2 - http://data.gov.ie/
3 - http://per.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/Open-Data-Licence-Consultation-Paper-February-2015.docx
4 - opendata at per.gov.ie

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