The European Public Sector Information (PSI) Directive is intended to make it easier for everyone to find and reuse information produced by public bodies. The European Commission’s recognition of the value of PSI dates back to at least the late 1990s, well before the more recent wave of interest in open government data. The EC is currently asking for feedback on what could be done to improve the Directive, so if you care about PSI in Europe now is your chance to have your say! There’s a brief (10-15 min) online questionnaire at:
- It has got some great questions in it, and includes plenty of space for detailed responses for anyone who wishes to give them. It also explicitly covers issues that I’ve spoken about in the past — such as expanding the scope of the directive to include core information from cultural heritage organisations, and increasing the evidence base to include the social value of PSI.
Here are few sample questions:
- Do you think that PSI re-use has reached its full potential in Europe?
- Could further action towards opening up public data resources and practical measures facilitating re-use (asset lists of available documents, simplified or no licensing conditions, marginal costs etc.) contribute to unlocking innovation and developing new services, applications and mash-ups?
- Should further action be taken at Community level to promote cross-border products and services re-using PSI?
- In your opinion, should the PSI Directive be amended?
- Currently, the PSI Directive is not applicable to information held by cultural, educational and research establishments and public service broadcasters. In your opinion, as far as information is not covered by third party intellectual property rights (excluded in any case from the scope of the PSI Directive), should the Directive apply to information held by (i) public service broadcasters, (ii) educational and research establishments, (iii) cultural establishments?
- Could you please indicate reasons for or against the inclusion of information held by these establishments? What would be the benefits / difficulties if the scope was extended to cover such information? Are there certain data sets, if not all, held by these establishments that could be valuable for developing new services or applications and that should be made available to re-use?
- Do you think that all public sector information which is already publicly accessible should also be re-usable?
- In your opinion, should more re-use friendly formats (e.g. machine readable) be promoted?
- In your opinion, public sector information should be made available for re-use for free as regards both commercial and non-commercial re-use?
- Do current licensing regimes of Member States or of individual public sector bodies still create problems for re-use (e.g. by imposing unfair conditions or by unduly restricting the possibilities for re-use)?
So to reiterate one more time: if you care about the future of PSI in Europe please take the time to let the European Commission know what you think!
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 jonathangray.org and he tweets at @jwyg.