Open Government Licence

The Open Government Licence (OGL) is a simple set of terms and conditions that facilitates the re-use of a wide range of public sector information free of charge.  The OGL is also available in Welsh.

There is no need to register or apply to use the OGL. Users simply need to ensure that their use of information complies with OGL terms.

We do not maintain a list of who is using information under the OGL because users do not need to register for a licence. However the OGL states that users should, where possible, provide a link back to the OGL. This means that it is possible to search for online works using information under the OGL. For further information on how to use information made available under the OGL please see our guidance for users.

Government departments and public sector bodies making their information available for use under the OGL should follow the guidance for information providers.

The OGL requires you to attribute the information provider and source of the information.

Personal data

The OGL does not cover the use of personal data. Re-use of personal data must comply with the Data Protection Principles set out in Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 1988. Guidance on the general application of the Act can be found on the Information Commissioner’s website.

Compatibility with other licences

The OGL 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 meet the conditions of the OGL as long as you comply with the terms of the other licence.

The OGL is a perpetual licence so any past and continuing use of information authorised under v1.0 or v2.0 may continue. The only exception to this would be if you breached the terms of either licence; this would result in it being terminated.

Information providers will specify which version of the OGL applies to their information as they make the transition to v3.0. The terms and conditions of the three versions are in essence the same with v3.0 only introducing a few refinements and clarifications.

The OGL superseded the PSI Click-Use Licence in 2010. Any information subject to Crown copyright that was available for re-use under the PSI Click-Use Licence may now be re-used under the OGL.

Exceptions to OGL

Government policy is that public sector information should be licensed for use and re-use free of charge under the OGL with only a few prescribed exceptions.

Open software licences

Government departments and other public sector bodies that are involved in developing their own software are encouraged to make their software and source code available as openly as possible.

Other licences

In certain prescribed circumstances the following licences may be used to licence public sector information.