What is gov20 ?

Here below is the description of the first national french licence created last month in order to reuse public information.
You can find the original article on the following website: http://www.rip.justice.fr

Licence IP
Licence « conditions of the reuse of public information that is freely reusable »


This license aims at specifying the legal conditions of the re-use of public information that is freely reusable.

It particularly specifies the rights to adapt the public information with a view to a commercial activity or not.

The rights conceded by the present license do not imply any transfer of property right on the public information.

It aims at facilitating the re-use of public information in the context of the development of the information society.

According to Article 8 of the 17th November 2003 2003/98/CE directive “The state institutions may authorize the re-use of documents without any conditions or may impose conditions, possibly by the means of a license which would deal with relevant questions. These conditions do not wrongly limit the re-use possibilities and are not used to restrain competition”.

Since the coming into force of the order n° 2006-650 modifying the 17th July 1978 law, public information is in principle freely reusable.

The re-use of public information is a right that is granted to any moral or physical person in the perspective of a commercial activity or not.

According to Article 10 of the law n° 78-753 of the 17th July 1978, “the information stored in documents elaborated by or in possession of the administrations mentioned in Article 1, whatever the format may be, may be used by any person who would wish it and for other reasons than those of the public service mission for the needs of which the documents have been elaborated or are held”.

This license aims at certifying the legal qualification of public information in the sense of the French law and the laws n°78-753 of 17th July 1978.

This license applies to « public information », that is to say information lying in administrative documents or in possession of the State, local authorities, or public or private institutions that are in charge of a public service mission.

According to Article 10 of that law, the following do not constitute « public information »:

* the information present in documents that are accessible according to the 17th July 1978 law or any other provision of the law. However, if those same documents are publicly diffused, the information they contain are then reusable.
* the information which participates in an industrial and commercial public service mission.
* the information present in documents over which third-parties have rights of intellectual property, with the exception of a re-use agreement expressed by these third-parties.

The present license certifies the legal qualification of public information of the data included in the document diffused under this license. It guaranties that the conceding party has all the rights conceded below and, whenever needed, the rights of intellectual property for the document containing the public information accessible under this license.

The present license specifies the legal conditions of re-use of public information as specified in Article 12 of the law n°78-753 17 July 1978 which imposes that the data “be not altered, that their meaning be not transformed, and that their sources and their update dates be mentioned”.

They specify the rights and obligations of the licensee re-user of public information accessible under the present license. The licensee commits himself to use the public information of the conceding party strictly abiding by the corresponding rules.
1. Source and date of accessibility

The licensee commits himself to indicate the source as well as the update date of information without these excerpts being possibly interpreted as any kind of guaranty given by the conceding party.

1.1 Source

The licensee commits himself to indicating the source, and when needed, regarding the paternity right, the name of the public agents authors of intellectual works. If these particulars exist, they appear in the part of the document containing the public information where the persons who participated in its development are stated, or on the format from which the document is accessible.

1.2 Date of accessibility

The licensee commits himself to indicate the date of the last update of the public information that is in the document the day of the re-use.
2. Exclusivity

The license confers to the licensee a personal and non exclusive right of reusing the public information.
3. Duration/ territory

The license is granted worldwide until 31st December of the year of the contract, and then every 1st January by tacit renewal.

4. Commercial or non commercial usage of the re-use

The reusing is free of charge and does not necessitate any payment to the conceding party by the licensee, including when it concerns the commercial use of the public information re-used, whenever it is commercialised after new treatments and in a new product or service for the third-parties.

The reusing, commercial or not, shall be done by the licensee: he shall not act as intermediary and resell the public information as is to a third-party for commercialisation.
5. Reproduction

The licensee is authorized to reproduce all re-used public information on all existing formats or unknown ones up to the present day.

6. Modification

The licensee is authorized to modify all re-used public information on condition of respecting their integrity. Modifications bear on re-used public information copies made by the licensee and diffused under his signature.

6.1. Information deterioration

The licensee especially verifies that the reprocessing does not deteriorate the contents of information.

Information modification is expressly authorized to enable their documentary, technical or editorial enrichment. It notably endeavors to give information about metadata, to make re-used public information interoperable with other information or to update it.

6.2. Distortion of the meaning

The licensee especially verifies that the reprocessing does not change the meaning of words.

Insertion of comments must be clearly distinguished from the licensor contents.

The licensee is not authorized to make cuts deteriorating the meaning of the re-used public information.

7. Re-accessibility

The licensee is authorized to concede sub-licenses, commercial or not, on re-used public information when they are treated afresh and they are included in a new product or service.

Integral, free and without value-added re-accessibility of re-used public information to third-parties is forbidden, unless it is made under this current license or expressly authorized by the licensor.

8. Termination

Every breach of this current license will lead to an automatic termination. However, this license keeps its effects towards physical or moral persons, who have received re-used public information from the licensee, under the conditions of Articles 6 and 7.

This current license is enforceable during all the period of the public information re-use, according to the applicable law. Nevertheless, the licensor, at any time, reserves the right to submit the public information re-use to different contractual conditions, or to stop their accessibility;

However, the recourse to this option must not lead to withdrawing the effects of this current license.

9. Liability

The licensor guarantees he owns all the rights granted in this current license. The licensor cannot be liable for erroneous, missing, or irregular information. He cannot be liable for the casual unavailability of the information when this unavailability is due to an act of God or chargeable to a third-party.

He cannot be liable for the way the re-used public information is transmitted to third-parties or re-used by the licensee, in combination with other information.

The licensee will carry alone the financial consequences in case of third party claim against the licensor, based on the re-use made by the licensee.
10. Sanctions

Every person reusing the public information in violation of the provisions of Law 78-753 on July 17th 1978 is subject to the fine set by Article 18 of that law.
11. Applicable law/ Litigations

In case of litigation about the interpretation or the completion of this license, the parties commit themselves to seek an amicable solution. If such a solution cannot be found in a period of 90 days from the announcement of the litigation by one of the parties to the other, the dispute will be referred to the court of competent jurisdiction in Paris adjudicating by French law.
Applicable texts

* > Law n°78-753 on July 17th 1978
* > Directive 2003/98/EC on November 17th 2003
* > Ordinance n°2005-650 on June 6th 2005
* > Decree n°2005-1755 on December 30th 2005
* > Prime Minister Circular n°5156/SG on May 29th 2006

You can find the original article on the following website: http://www.rip.justice.fr

By blogging and twittering, you get to communicate with people around the world. I wanted to take this opportunity to understand the different point of views and evolution of opendata and opengov in Europe.
Here follow is the first chapter of this european tour starting with Sweden.

Can you introduce yourself ?

My name is Peter Krantz and I run the opengov.se website. opengov.se is a personal project to highlight public datasets in Sweden and how few of them are openly available. The questions below are answered in my role as a citizen.

Is there an existing national law evoking opendata in your country ?

Sweden is currently implementing the PSI directive. The law proposal is available here:Regeringen.se The essence of the proposal does not take open data very far. A second law proposal indicates that electronic access to public records (including data) may become easier in the future: http://www.regeringen.se/sb/

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the law ?

The current proposal aims to implement the bare minimum of the PSI directive in my opinion. As a background we have had an open access to public records policy for a long time. However, many agencies are partially funded by selling data. This makes it difficult to implement a government-wide open data policy as the government also need to change the budget policy.

How long has your country been working on openingdata ?

Not very long. The current governement is responsible in implementing the law.

Who are the main actors of opengov in your country ?

From the citizen perspective my own initiative opengov.se. In the current government it is the Minister for Local Government and Financial Markets: Mats Odell: Sweden.gov.se

What are the main bareers ?

In my opinion, the funding model of some agencies. E.g. geographical data such as maps currently funds part of the agency maintaining it: Lantmateriet.se Making the data open and free requires a change in government funding of agencies.

Which cities or states in your country are the most involved in Opendata ?

A while ago the city of Stockholm created an initiative to increase access to data: http://www.opengov.se/blogg/2010/stockholm-pa-vag-mot-oppen-data/

Is the e-ID card available yet ?

Sweden has had e-IDs available for many years (see http://www.e-legitimation.se/). A new federated model for e-ID has been proposed and may become implemented next year.

In a few word, what is the state of play of Open Government in Sweden ?

Gaining traction but a long way to go.

Location of Pays de la Loire
Image via Wikipedia

Last week, liberTIC launched the french version of its blog where you can follow our local actions and initiatives to open data on a federal level. We have about a hundred connections per day and hope to get more and more as the interest in opening data is growing in France.

One week ago, Rennes, a near city of french Brittany, announced it would open its transport data. This will be the first opendata platform in France.

In order to incite opening in our own federal state and city of Nantes, liberTIC transmitted an initiative from french Creative Commons.

French CC created a questionary for the federal elections that are taking place in march 2010 in France. They ask french people to send this questionary to their candidates, so we did our part and tweeted our candidates with the link to our blog presenting the initiative.

Creative Commons questions aim to inform voters about candidates interests in opening data and their approach in licencing and reuse.

Our plan :

– Send the questions by tweeter only (gov20 they said)

– Reporting candidates reactions and opinions on these issues

There are eight candidates in our state. Three of them do not have direct or national party tweeter account so we wonder if they will ever know we launched these questions, but we also sent the questions to our local mayor Jean-Marc Ayrault, who happens to be MP too.

Questions are:

Are you in favor of:

1. Acces and free (of charge included) reuse of public data produced and paid by the state
2. Free (of charge included) and access to any published content producted or paid by the state (web informations, etc)
3. Free (of charge included) and access to any federal studies
4. Free (of charge included) and access to data from any organizations paid by the state
5. Publication in open format of federal archives
6. Access and reuse to federal learning content

We are now following the candidates reactions and will get back with the feedbacks.

I have not been lazy lately, meeting many organizations involved in gov20 and elaborating different plans to make things happen locally. I have learnt that a near city has just hired someone to work on edemocracy and e-participation! Concerning liberTIC’s activity, another step will be made next month so stay in touch.

Here follow is a guide I’ve been reading for my studies.

Almost ten years ago, OECD suggested the stillupdated following guiding principles for successful information, consultation and active participation in policy-making:


Leadership and strong commitment to information, consultation and active participation in policy-making is needed at all levels – from politicians, senior managers and public officials.

2. Rights

Citizens rights to access information, provide feedback, be consulted and actively participate in policy-making must be firmly grounded in law or policy. Government obligations to respond to citizens when exercising their rights must also be clearly stated. Independent institutions for oversight, or their equivalent, are essential to enforcing these rights.


Objectives for, and limits to, information, consultation and active participation during policy-making should be well defined from the outset. The respective roles and responsibilities of citizens (in providing input) and government (in making decisions for which they are accountable) must be clear to all.

4. Time

Public consultation and active participation should be undertaken as early in the policy process as possible to allow a greater range of policy solutions to emerge and to raise the chances of successful implementation. Adequate time must be available for consultation and participation to be effective. Information is needed at all stages of the policy cycle.

5. Objectivity

Information provided by government during policy-making should be objective, complete and accessible. All citizens should have equal treatment when exercising their rights of access to information and participation.

6. Resources

Adequate financial, human and technical resources are needed if public information, consultation and active participation in policy-making are to be effective. Government officials must have access to appropriate skills, guidance and training as well as an organisational culture that supports their efforts.

7. Co-ordination

Initiatives to inform, request feedback from and consult citizens should be co-ordinated across government to enhance knowledge management, ensure policy coherence, avoid duplication and reduce the risk of consultation fatigue among citizens and civil society organisations (CSOs). Co-ordination efforts should not reduce the capacity of government units to pursue innovation and ensure flexibility.

8. Accountability

Governments have an obligation to account for the use they make of citizens inputs received through feedback, public consultation and active participation. Measures to ensure that the policy-making process is open, transparent and amenable to external scrutiny and review are crucial to increasing government accountability overall.

9. Evaluation

Governments need the tools, information and capacity to evaluate their performance in providing information, conducting consultation and engaging citizens in order to adapt to new requirements and changing conditions for policy-making.

10. Active citizenship

Governments benefit from active citizens and a dynamic civil society and can take concrete actions to facilitate access to information and participation, raise awareness, strengthen citizens civic education and skills as well as to support capacity-building among civil society organisations.

Digital divide is the new illetrism*

I recently watched this video from the « Forum for the Future of Democracy » which goal was to define democratic process and here are some explanations.


It is a very cheap, very accessible way to enhance participation, to show politicians work, to give more realtime information of better quality and to enlight choices.

e-Democracy will allow -if we allow e-democracy to emerge- to give people real power.

Indeed, people are usually interested in democracy but they are often out of touch and they lack information.Therefore there is an imperative need to rally citizens and spread informations.

The primary obligation of a democratic state is to ensure that lack of access to new technologies does not become a social divide as illiteracy once was.


e-Democracy is creating new ways to engage in democracy: electronic vote, forums, collaborative platforms, etc. These online tools allow citizens to interact, participate and collaborate.

By talking directly to the people, government’s messages won’t have to be transmitted to a third party lile media to spread the word. Citizens become media.

There is by fact a gap between electronic haves and electronic havenots. It is a reality and a threat to democracy and inclusion.


Governments should not wait for citizens to come to them but they should engage and go to the crowd.

Citizens need to trust governments and governments need to trust citizens. Let’s interact, let’s share, let’s collaborate but let’s do that all together.

Generation gaps

There is a gap between old and younger generation in the use of technologies. When youngers are usually more at ease, a real work should be made on seniors use.

In order to fight digital divide, we also need to improve youth involvment by teaching from the bottom. To be efficient, e-democracy classes should be given as early as kindergarden.


In this newtech world, if we want to avoid the creation of a new barreer between people and administrations, we have to engage every citizens to join the move.

*For french readers, french translation of illetrism would be « analphabetisme », not « illetrisme ».

During a parliamentary question on the French initiatives in the communication of public information, referring to the U.S. plan “data.gov“, French Prime Minister recalled the long-existing french portals access to information :

legifrance.fr for Laws
service-public.fr for Administration
statistics-publique.fr for Statistics
All of these websites make simpler access to still complicated informations -not mentioning the re-looking need. But hey, french Data Publica to be opened in 2011.

When the US “data.gov” (or the newborn data.gov.uk) leads to increase the emergence of new services, France approach leads to increase the yet emerged “bureaucracy”.

Let’s remind:

Vivek Kundra, Obama’s CIO was hired in March 2009 and US Data.gov was launched in May 2009
– “Bureaucracy” is a french word

This article finds its roots in Alban Martin’s post “Apres data.gov, data.gov.uk ! (on attend toujours donnees.gouv.fr)”

A new website dedicated to making non-personal data held by the U.K. government available for software developers has launched: Data.gov.uk.

Only six months after the U.S. government opened its own Data.gov site, the U.K. site is being slammed with traffic and already has more than three times as much data than the U.S. site offers today. Americans reply:

“The Federal Government does not have a monopoly on the best ideas. We are all part of an increasingly complex network of communities, ideas, and information. We applaud today’s launch of data.gov.uk and look forward to working with the international community to ensure that people across the world are actively engaged in helping find the most innovative paths to solve some of the toughest problems we face.”

As a reminder, Data.gov is the U.S. platform presenting and making available governmental data for all. It was launched after Obama’s directive on Open Governement in 2009 and its purpose is to increase public access to high value machine readable datasets. It offers searchable catalogs that provide access to “raw” datasets and various tools in such formats as XML, Text/CSV, KML/KMZ, Feeds, XLS, or ESRI Shapefile. A catalog of tools links users to sites that offer data mining and extraction tools and widgets.

Now what’s new with data.gov.uk ?

Introduced last week by Gordon Brown’s administration it also provides open source data to the public. Brown  is quoted on his “Digital Engagement” blog:

“We have involved over 2,400 people in our developer community to learn what data they want and how they want to access it; and we have brought together into one place an initial collection of over 2500 datasets from across government which can be re-used freely and easily.”

The main principles are quite similar to the U.S. version:

– Public data will be available and easy to find through a single easy to use online access point (http://www.data.gov.uk/)

– Public data will be published using open standards and following the recommendations of the World Wide Web Consortium

– Any ‘raw’ dataset will be re-presented in linked data form

– More public data will be released under an open licence which enables free reuse, including commercial reuse

– Data underlying the Government’s own websites will be published in reusable form for others to use

– Personal, classified, commercially sensitive and third-party data will continue to be protected

Available or soon-to-be available datas are:

– Releasing health data such as the NHS Choices data

– Consulting on making Ordnance Survey mapping and postcode datasets available for free reuse from April 2010

– Increasing access to and reuse of public transport data including the National Public Transport Access – Node database, with information available to the development community by April 2010

– Opening Met Office Public Weather Service data to include: releasing significant underlying data for weather forecasts for free download and reuse by April 2010, and working to further expand the release of weather data, while recognising all public safety considerations; and making available more information on Met Office scientists, their work and scientific papers, free of charge

– Publishing, by spring 2010, details of how the fiscal stimulus announced in the Pre-Budget Report 2008 has been spent, disaggregated to local level

– Launching a public consultation early in 2010 to seek views on how we could publish further financial data so that it is user-friendly and accessible, with a view to putting a live system in place by summer 2010

– Integrating ONS data with http://www.data.gov.uk/ from January 2010.


Early comments are positive, when comparing UK gov to its counterpartUS Data.gov. The U.S. version pales in comparison as it’s missing the user-friendly approach. Also, when the U.S. government’s Data.gov site launched, critics pointed out that it was filled with relatively non-controversial data sets, plenty of USGS data but no DOJ or military data. The U.K.’s data site, in contrast, includes 22 military data sets at launch, including one called Suicide and Open Verdict Deaths in the U.K. Regular Armed Forces.

National to local

The national data.gov are also complemented with local platforms such as: Washington D.C, City of New York, San Francisco, State of Utah, State of Michigan… England is following the same path as London launched its own platform too.

If you are afraid to get lost, you can chek out The Guardian Browsing tool to search wordlwide datas: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world-government-data

What about French ? Can they ?

There won’t be any data.gov.fr in France… But there is a national platform in process.

Data Publica is one of the lead projects of NKM call for proposal “Web 2.0”. This project aims to create a national website where public and private actors could publish their API, metadata and licence. This project is being developped by Araok!Nexedi and Talend and shoud be launched by 2011.

Notice that local non-profit groups are also emerging to incite cities to open their datas before that date and liberTIC is one of them.