Submission on the re-use of public sector information : with an emphasis on energy system datasets
In late-2017 the European Commission consulted publicly on the effectiveness of directives 2003/98/EC and 2013/37/EU which cover the re-use of public sector information (PSI). The definition of PSI includes privately held information of public interest. Submissions closed on 12 December 2017.
A number of participants active in the Open Energy Modelling Initiative, together with researchers working in allied fields, developed a written submission. This document was presented in the name of the submitters as a collection of individuals and not in the name of the Open Energy Modelling Initiative.
The submission is quite general and deals at length with the background legal issues.
The citation for the written submission is:
Morrison, Robbie, Tom Brown, and Matteo De Felice (10 December 2017). Submission on the re-use of public sector information: with an emphasis on energy system datasets — Release 09. Berlin, Germany. CC BY 4.0 license.
General points include:
- it is probable but not certain that lawfully obtained copyright-protected digital datasets are not able to be machine processed without breach of copyright — this is a question that should be clarified by the European Commission
- the above does not apply to datasets made public under transparency mandates, including the ENTSO-E electricity market transparency platform
- copyright overreach, claiming copyright protection for datasets that fail to meet the threshold of copyrightability, is probably widespread within our domain — therefore the European Commission should issue guidelines on what kinds of energy sector datasets are copyrightable
- copyright law should be reformed to provide positive PSI re-use rights as a matter of urgency and that the use of open licensing is a second best solution
- in the interim, public sector information, including privately held information of public interest, should be released under either a Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 open license or a CC0 1.0 public domain dedication
- European database rights, which limit the amount of data that users can downloaded, should be waived by PSI providers
The submission also deals at some length with the ENTSO-E electricity market transparency platform.