Today COMMUNIA published a policy paper on the 2017 review of the Directive on Public Sector Information (PSI Directive). The Directive first came into effect in 2003, and was amended in 2013 to clarify that 1) PSI should be presumed to be “reusable by default,” 2) museums, archives, and libraries were subject to the Directive provision, 3) acquisition fees were limited to marginal costs of reproduction, and 4) documents were to be made available for reuse using open standards and machine readable formats.
The Commission’s 2017 review could lead to further changes to improve reuse of public sector information. We made several recommendations to strengthen access and reuse of PSI.
First, we recommend that scientific research results resulting from public funding should be made available under a permissive reuse rights regime as PSI. The Commission should ensure that policy efforts to improve access to publicly funded scientific research are complementary—and not in conflict with—each other.
Second, we suggest that a revised Directive should ensure that all documents that are not currently covered by third party intellectual property rights fall within the scope of PSI national legislations.
Third, we recommend the Commission codify their earlier guidelines on recommended standard licences for PSI, and also ensure accurate licensing metadata across PSI and open data portals that reflects these licensing options.
Finally, we suggest that a revised Directive should ensure that CHIs and public sector bodies that are alike in their aims and funding structure must only be permitted to charge fees for costs directly incurred in providing access. We emphasise the importance of suitable state funding for CHI which will also enable them to make as many resources reusable as possible.
While the Commission has made great strides with improving access to and reuse of public sector information in Europe, there’s now another opportunity to update the PSI Directive to make it maximally useful and impactful. If the Commission decides to amend the Directive, it should seriously consider the recommendations laid out in our policy paper.
You can read the entire policy paper here.