- The Framework
- Open Government Licence
- What the Open Government Licence covers
- Charged Licence
- Guidance and FAQs
Frequently asked questions
Do I need written confirmation to use information under the Open Government Licence?
No. The Open Government Licence is an implied licence. By using information made available under the licence you indicate that you have accepted its terms and conditions.
Do I have to register for an Open Government Licence?
No. There is no need to register or formally apply for a licence. Users simply need to ensure that their use of information complies with the Open Government Licence terms.
Are there any fees for using information made available under the Open Government Licence?
There are no charges for using information under the Open Government Licence.
Does the Open Government Licence permit information providers to charge a fee for the supply of information to re-users?
Yes. Information providers may charge a fee for supplying information. Examples where charging for supply would be permitted include:
- providing a copy of a photograph in a higher resolution
- providing large quantities of data by means of a CD-ROM
Information providers may not impose a charge for the subsequent re-use of the information.
How long does the Open Government Licence last?
Unless you breach its terms, the Open Government Licence is a perpetual licence.
Why can't I re-use personal data under the Open Government Licence?
Any re-use must comply with the Data Protection Principles as set out in Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 1988 (DPA) which defines how personal data about identifiable, living people can be processed. A key consideration is that there needs to be clarity about the specific purpose for which the data was originally collected. Licensing the re-use of personal data for wide and non-specified purposes would certainly go beyond that original purpose in most cases and therefore we would be acting unlawfully.
Why can't I re-use personal data which is publicly available under the Open Government Licence?
Access to personal data does not automatically confer a right of re-use. Some personal data is collected for the express purpose of making it publicly available. The edited version of the Electoral Roll is an example of this. Nevertheless, the principles of the Data Protection Act remain the same and any subsequent use or re-use of the data must be lawful.
Under what circumstances can an Open Government Licence be terminated?
If your use of information breaches the terms of the Open Government Licence, then the rights granted to you under the Open Government Licence will automatically end and you will be in breach of copyright and/or database right. If the breach is corrected, however, the rights granted to you under the Open Government Licence will be said to be reinstated.
I have been using information under the Open Government Licence v1.0, is this still valid now that you have introduced the Open Government Licence v2.0?
The Open Government Licence v1.0 is a perpetual licence so your past and continuing use of information authorised under v1.0 will continue. The only exception to this would be if you breached the terms of that licence which would result in it being terminated. Information providers/licensors will specify which version of the Open Government Licence applies to their information as they make the transition to v2.0. However, the terms and conditions of the two versions are in essence the same as v2.0 only introduces a few refinements and clarifications identified since the launch of v1.0.
What is an 'attribution statement'?
When you are using information, other than information and material created by you, you should cite what information you used, where it came from and what date it was published. You should also include a link to the information you used, if this is online, and a link to the licence, under which it was used. See our information on how to attribute information used under the Open Government Licence.
Can information licensed under the Open Government Licence be used with information granted under another licence e.g. Creative Commons, Open Data Commons?
The Open Government Licence terms are compatible with the latest versions of the Creative Commons Attribution License and the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This means that when the information is adapted and licensed under either of those licences, you automatically satisfy the conditions of the OGL when you comply with the other licence.
What is an information provider?
The person or organisation providing the information under the Open Government Licence. The information provider is also the licensor when they have the authority to offer the information under the terms of the Open Government Licence. In the case on information owned by the Crown, the information provider means the organisation providing the information and the licensor means the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office.
What are third party rights?
These are intellectual property rights including copyright which the information provider does not have the authority to license.
Does the Open Government Licence replace the Click-Use Licence?
Yes, the Open Government Licence replaced the PSI Click-Use Licence for Crown copyright and database right information. One of the key differences between the Open Government Licence and Click-Use Licences was that re-users no longer needed to register for a licence. Departments which have a delegation of authority from the Controller may continue to license the re-use of Crown information under their current arrangements.
The publication that I wish to use says that I have to apply for a PSI Click-Use Licence. What do I do?
The Open Government Licence superseded the PSI Click-Use Licence, therefore any information covered by Crown copyright that was available for re-use under the PSI Click-Use Licence may now be re-used under the Open Government Licence.
I hold a PSI Click-Use Licence, is this still valid with the introduction of the Open Government Licence?
The introduction of the Open Government Licence does not affect the validity of existing PSI Click-Use Licences. These licences will continue until the five year period has elapsed, unless you indicate that you wish to terminate the licence, or there is a breach of its terms.
I hold a PSI Click-Use Licence, which licence terms apply when we re-use information?
You may use the information under your existing Click-Use Licence until it expires. Alternatively you can choose to use the information under the terms of the Open Government Licence.
Who can offer information under the Open Government Licence?
The licensor grants the rights to use information under the Open Government Licence. The licensor means the relevant rights owner or any information provider which has the authority to offer information under the terms of the Open Government Licence.
In the case on information owned by the Crown, the licensor means the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, who manages Crown copyright and Crown database right on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen.
Does the Open Government Licence affect the rights of public sector bodies?
The Open Government Licence does not affect the rights of public sector bodies to control the use of their information and data. It is available as a tool which public sector bodies can adopt to license the use and re-use of their information and data easily and efficiently. The Open Government Licence does not affect the use of an organisation's logo, or other intellectual property rights outside of copyright and database right, such as trademarks, designs and patents. The Open Government Licence does not permit the use of military insignia or the Royal Arms.
Will government departments be required to amend the copyright statements in all existing publications?
No. It will not be necessary to amend the notices in existing publications, unless they are re-printed. New publications must carry appropriate copyright and re-use statements and departmental websites must have a notice to indicate that information can now be used under the Open Government Licence.
Is there a record of those who are using information under the Open Government Licence?
No. Users do not need to register for a licence and as such there will be no comprehensive list of users. However, the Open Government Licence states that users should, where possible, provide a link back to the Open Government Licence. This means there will be ways of searching for online works using information under the Open Government Licence.
What happens is a user fails to comply with the terms and conditions?
If a user does not comply with the terms and conditions of the Open Government Licence, then the rights granted under this licence, or any similar licence granted by the licensor, will end automatically. If a user breaches the copyright or database right of the information provider, their rights will end and could be liable to criminal proceedings. (See the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988). If the breach is corrected, however, the rights granted under the Open Government Licence can be reinstated.
Does The National Archives license information under the Open Government Licence?
Information produced by The National Archives is subject to Crown copyright or database right, and therefore is offered under the Open Government Licence by the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office. However, documents, files and information held at The National Archives for public record purposes, will be subject to a wide range of different rights. See our Copyright page for more advice on the re-use of material from The National Archives.