Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Presentation of #1OdataLicenseEU in LAPSI 6th thematic seminar. #OpenData

(Here there is a Spanish translation of this post)

This Thursday I will be on Budapest, I will present the #1OdataLicenseEU initiative at the LAPSI 6th thematic seminar about licensing of public sector information.

If you want to know what is #1OdataLicenseEU initiative (and sign it) you must click here.

In the rest of this post, there are my presentation and my speech on this Thursday.

If you have any question, please comment it here.


The presentation:

The speech:

Speech about #1OdataLicenseEU initiative

LAPSI Seminar, Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, March, 22nd, 2012


15 minutes

14 slides:

1.- Introduction.

Hello, my name is Marc Garriga.

I’m an Open Data activist from Barcelona, Spain.

First, I want to thank this organization (LAPSI) for giving me the opportunity to explain the initiative for a Single Open Data Licence for all the European Union.

Second: a warning: I’m not a jurist, I’m not a lawyer, so, please be patient with me :)

I have only 15 minutes, so let's get to the point.

2.- The current situation of Open Data Portals in the EU.

According to the Fundación CTIC (the Spanish Office of the W3C) today there are 50 Open Data Portals in the European Union.

Many of them are very simple, but some are among the best Open Data portals in the world: data.gov.uk is a good example.

There are lots of good portals in EU.

So, there is a lot of data available (even though reusers want ever more data).

3.- Building Open Data services is a pain:

There is a lot of data available, but building Open Data services is a pain.

Especially those services that use data from different Open Data portals.

Let’s do a test: What services (that use data from different portals) do you know?

[Wait for public answers]

There are services that use data from different Open Data portals, but they are still scarce.

One of them is EuroAlert: a service that alerts you about relevant tenders from European governments.

The manager of this company (José Luis Marín) told me that it is very difficult to build a pan-european service using data from different portals: there are different languages, different data structures, different ways to tender, different cultures, etc. These are big problems that are hard to solve.

But, it’s easy (or it should be easy) to solve another problem: the different licences to reuse the data.

4.- 50 Portals (almost) equals 50 licenses

There are 50 portals and this means that there are (almost) 50 different licences.

So, this situation produces a big legal uncertainty.

It’s very difficult to build a service that feeds from several portals, especially when these portals are from different countries.

It’s important to say that I use the word “licence”, I’m referring not only to a licence but also reuse rules, legal notices and things like these.

I only use “licence” but I’m talking about these legal tools, you know them better than me.

5.- What is the #1OdataLicenseEU initiative?

We, the Open Data people, are aware of this problem: every Open Data Portal has its own use licence.

This is a big, big, problem if we really want a single market in data reuse in Europe.

So, if there are no Open Data services that feed from different Open Data Portals, then there is no future for Open Data.

It’s clear, it’s hard.

The only future for Open Data lies in having services that reuse data from different sites.

Therefore, we need to harmonize the licences.

We need a single licence for all Europe.

6.- What isn’t it?

This initiative wants to publicise this need, to make Open Data community aware of the importance of having a single licence for Europe.

But we don’t want to discuss which licence is right, we believe this is the job of egal experts... experts like LAPSI :)

We are "only" pushing for a single Open Data licence in Europe.

On the other hand, this is a grass-roots initiative that started in Spain, but it’s not only for Spain it is for all the European Union.

7.- Supports of this initiative.

Although it is a specific initiative (Open Data issues are not very well-known by the general public), it has achieved more than 600 supporters.

In this group there are technical people (from Open Data sphere), but there are also people from other sectors: from politics, from journalism, from business, from the judiciary, from culture, from the universities... even a philosopher :)

8.- Key supports

All of these 600 people are important.

But, a few of them are very important, they are key.

Patxi López: He is the current Lehendakari, the president of the Basque Country, Spain.

Mr. López is a politician who is very sensitive to Open Data (the Open Data portal of the Basque Government is considered one of the best portals in the world).

Another man who signed this petition is Jordi Sevilla.

Mr. Sevilla is a former public sector minister in the Spanish Government.

David Osimo is an expert in Open Data (and other topics), perhaps you know him.

He is one of the best-known people in this area.

Another Italian expert on combining technology and government is Alberto Cottica. Like Mr. Osimo, Alberto is an activist that wants to improve the world (his current project - Edgeryders - is aiming to be a place to share ideas on achieving a better future for Europe’s young people).

Xavier Crouan is the general manager of communication of Région Ile de France (the main region in France). Mr. Crouan was the driving force behind the first Open Data Portal in France: the Open Data Portal from Rénnes, the capital of Bretagne.

This initiative is from the European Union, but it has gathered supporters outside. One of them is John F. Moore from the USA. He is one of the best advisors in how to improve governments by using technology and opening them up to citizens.

All of these people agree (and they have signed) on a single Open Data licence in the European Union.

9.- Response from Commissioner Neelie Kroes

This initiative started at the beginning of this February.

At the end of the same month, Comissioner Neelie Kroes answered us: http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/neelie-kroes/single-data-licence/

She has always recognized the importance of data, even saying that data is the new goldmine in the society of the 21st century.

She said that her first priority is to open up the public sector, so the legal questions about the governments openness are a critical topic.

She said that “there will be a public consultation on the licensing guidelines: all those interested will be given an opportunity to contribute”. For sure we will take part in this consultation.

10.- Next steps

The next steps of this initiative are:

    • We need to publicise more because there are lots of (technical) people that don’t know about this initiative yet nor the problem.

    • We need to raise awareness on the importance of having a single Open Data licence. We really think that it is a turning point for ensuring the Open Data sector also becomes a business sector.

    • We need to influence - in a good sense - Comissioner Neelie Kroes and her team because now they are rewriting the directive for opening up the public sector.

    • We need to promote a single licence for all Open Data portals. It isn’t an option, now it’s mandatory.

    • We need to seduce the legal experts in order to take part in this topic.

11.- What is the LAPSI role in this case?

I’ve said that we need to seduce the legal experts, so, we need you!

You are from LAPSI; you work on all legal issues related to public sector information.

I your web there is this definition: "LAPSI is the European network for high-level policy discussions and strategic action on all legal issues related to the access and the re-use of Public Sector Information".

So, we need you! :)

12.- Open Debate

I think now, next this presentation, there is an open debate on this topic.

So, here are our answers to three typical questions about this initiative:

    • Is it for all European countries?

      • Yes!, this is the main goal, its power lies in this.

    • Is it for all kinds of data?

      • Yes, why not?, the key is on which licence to use. But, I think a priori there is no reason to think the contrary.

    • Is it for all purposes?

      • This question can be answered in the same way as the previous one: Why not? Perhaps there is a very specific purpose that needs a specific licence, I don’t know (remember, I’m not a jurist), but now I don’t see any reason to think the contrary.

12.- Köszönöm (thanks in Hungarian)

That’s all, I hope you have understood me and understand the importance of having a single Open Data licence for all the European Union.


14.- Credits and thanks.

Links about this topic:

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