In just over a week, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will release a new version of their website – which will mostly be under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia license. From the announcement:

Creative Commons provides a spectrum of licensing for the use of intellectual property between full copyright and public domain – in essence “some rights reserved”. The ABS is poised to introduce Creative Commons licensing for the majority of its web content.

The relevant Creative Commons logo (which will link to the Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence) will be included at the bottom of every page on the ABS website.

This is a significant change from what you are currently allowed to do with the material. At the moment the copyright statement says:

Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, and those explicitly granted below, all other rights are reserved.

You may display, reproduce and distribute up to 500 cells of data, in unaltered form only (including data contained within passages, tables, diagrams and images from without seeking formal consent.

Formal consent must be sought from the ABS where the amount of information exceeds 500 cells of data. The ABS reserves the right to set out the terms and conditions of use.

The adoption of the CC-BY license, one of the most liberal open licenses, is fantastic news – and will allow people to distribute, build on and generally do interesting things with Australian statistical data. Hopefully it will help to encourage other government bodies to open up their holdings!

We’ve created a new package page on CKAN:

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Dr. Jonathan Gray is Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, where he is currently writing a book on data worlds. He is also Cofounder of the Public Data Lab; and Research Associate at the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam) and the médialab (Sciences Po, Paris). More about his work can be found at and he tweets at @jwyg.

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