Exceptions to OGL

Government policy is that public sector information should be licensed for use and re-use free of charge under the Open Government Licence (OGL) with only a few exceptions:

  • Information that the Information Provider wishes to charge for, where charges are permitted under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015, for example, information licensed by trading funds such as the Met Office
  • Information that the Information Provider wishes to restrict solely to non-commercial use and re-use, for example where material is available for free non-commercial re-use, but not for commercial exploitation, such as the private water supply risk assessment tools licensed to local authorities by the Drinking Water Inspectorate
  • Crown copyright material may be licensed under a different licence to OGL if the Information Provider has a Delegation of Authority from The Keeper to do so
  • Personal data cannot be licensed under OGL terms because of the need to comply with the Data Protection Act
  • Departmental logos, crests, military insignia and the Royal Arms, except where they form an integral part of a document or dataset – separate arrangements are in place, see for example the licensing arrangements for insignia used by the Ministry of Defence
  • The King’s personal copyrights, and those of previous monarchs – these fall outside the scope of The Keeper’s authority under Letters Patent
  • Third-party rights that the Information Provider is not authorised to license – OGL can only be used where the information provider is permitted to license rights under OGL terms by the copyright owner
  • Patents, trademarks and design rights – these intellectual property rights cannot be licensed like copyright using the OGL. Further information is available from the Intellectual Property Office
  • Software code – developers may choose to release software under an Open Source Initiative approved licence if there are technical benefits of doing so which will result in efficiency of cost for the taxpayer