PSI exclusive agreements

An exclusive agreement is where a public sector body grants an organisation sole right to re-use particular information. Exclusive agreements are prohibited under section 14 of the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations.

In accordance with the regulations, The National Archives undertook reviews into the potential existence of exclusive agreements in 2008 and 2010. The reviews involved contacting central government departments, devolved administrations and Trading Funds.

Central Office of Information 
MaterialCrown copyright film and photographs produced by the Central Office of Information
RightsExclusive rights to market and sell footage
Date18 December 2007
TermFive years
Cancellation periodn/a
ReasonThere is a need to ensure archival permanence and to provide professional storage facilities. It was therefore thought that an exclusive agreement with a reputable film archive was justified
Central Office of InformationThe agreement has been reviewed by OPSI as part of an IFTS verification exercise. OPSI concluded that the agreement should continue to run until 2012 at which point it will need to be reviewed
Department for Culture, Media and Sport 
Material The Transporters DVD and resources. These consist of cartoons, quizzes, computer generated settings and so on, and are designed to help children with autism
Rights Exclusive worldwide licence of the intellectual property subsisting in The Transporters materials and to market and exploit The Transporters brand
Date 28 May 2008
Term 20 years
Cancellation period None
Reason The principal aim of the agreement is to aid and assist the development of children with autism spectrum conditions. The agreement enables the licensee to enhance The Transporters, maximise the sales of the DVD and exposure of the brand and to develop other products and services aimed at assisting the development of children with autism spectrum conditions. DCMS did not have the resources or expertise to do this in-house. 25% of profit goes to further research and autism charities
OPSI assessment/action This material falls outside the public task of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. It is unlikely that any private company would be prepared to make the substantial investment required without the grant of exclusive rights
Food Standards Agency 
Material Industry guides
Rights Exclusive publication rights
Date March 2006
Term Three years
Cancellation period Six months
Reason To facilitate publication of guides on favourable terms by small industry sectors. For consistency of the portfolio of Industry Guides
OPSI assessment/action OPSI will be recommending to the Food Standards Agency that it terminates the agreement at the earliest opportunity
Foreign and Commonwealth Office 
Material Back catalogue of Documents on British Policy Overseas (22 volumes); Documents on British Foreign Policy (65 volumes); and British Documents on the Origin of the War (11 volumes)
Rights Exclusive rights to digitise and distribute the material via the web
Date 4 March 2008
TermThree years
Cancellation period 180 days
Reason Exclusivity necessary for the commercial viability of the digitisation and database construction
OPSI assessment/action OPSI will arrange a meeting with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to discuss the way forward
HM Treasury 
Material The Economics of Climate Change - the Stern Review
Rights World reproduction rights in any language or media
Date August 2006
Term Full term of copyright
Reason To arrange commercial publication
Cancellation period None
OPSI assessment/action On OPSI advice the agreement was amended to draw a distinction between the publishers' edition and electronic copies which could be downloaded and re-used from government websites. Given that a reproducible version is available there is no need to terminate the exclusive print publication agreement
Ministry of Justice 
Material The Judicial Studies Board's 'Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases'
Rights Exclusive publication rights
Date 28 March 2008
Term Term extended in February 2010 to cover publication of the 10th edition of the book. The intention had been that the contract would go to tender in 2009 but this did not happen in time for publication of the 10th edition
Cancellation period 90 days
Reason To allow for the most efficient distribution of the Guidelines, to judges and other interested parties (solicitors, barristers, insurance companies, trade unions and medical defence organisations) and to promote speed, certainty and therefore fewer appeals in the area of personal injury litigation, by attracting an editorial team of highly experienced personal injury lawyers to collate the material. The agreement also stipulated the provision of free copies of the book to members of the judiciary with a civil jurisdiction
OPSI assessment/action Given that the agreement expires in 2009 OPSI will recommend that it is not renewed on exclusive terms
Ministry of Justice 
Material Legal Services Commission (LSC) Manual
Rights Exclusive rights in print and electronic media. The Legal Services Commission retains some rights to publish the material
Date 01 April 2010
Term An initial period of three years with a two year optional extension
Reason LSC requires its provider base to have ready access to the totality of the latest version of the material included within the LSC Manual in order to provide publicly funded legal services. Its arrangement with Thomson Reuters (Legal) Limited ensures that the LSC Manual is available at a reasonable price. Exclusive rights with substantial carve-outs were granted to ensure it was a workable commercial model for a publisher. The carve-outs have been increased substantially in scope since the previous licence granted by LSC to The Stationery Office in 2003. In particular the licence is now subject to LSC being able itself to publish the entire content of the LSC Manual across the various subject areas of its own website and subject to a right to publish if not to do so would breach the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005. Under the agreement, Thomson Reuters (Legal) Limited receive the benefit of a royalty-free licence in return for being permitted to publish and sell the LSC Manual (please see section C above) in England and Wales subject to their provision to LSC of online access for its staff and an agreed number of copies of the LSC Manual (in each case, without charge) for LSC's own business use
OPSI assessment/action OPSI received a statement from the Legal Services Commission that the contract will be publicly re-tendered on a non-exclusive basis
UK Hydrographic Office 
Material The Nautical Almanac
Rights Exclusive publication rights worldwide, excluding the European Union
Date 1 July 2004
TermSix years
Reason The UKHO inherited the agreement from the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils when it took over responsibility for Her Majesty's Nautical Almanac Office in April 2006 (for the 2008 edition onwards)
OPSI assessment/action Future agreements will offer standard (non-exclusive) terms in accordance with UKHO's licensing policy. Contractual conditions prevent the agreement being amended before July 2010