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UK Crown Copyright & Parliamentary Copyright

I read with interest Parliament.uk to move to Creative Commons? by@jamesfirth from yesterday. Catching up with some of the twitter conversations about it from yesterday, as well as reading Techdirt Does it Make Sense for Governments to Make Their Content Creative Commons …or Fully Public Domain today, nudged me to comment on the Techdirt piece regarding the important distinction between Crown Copyright & Parliamentary Copyright:

“It’s important to keep in mind the distinction between UK Crown Copyright and Parliamentary Copyright: http://bit.ly/kiuUk0 

Crown Copyright (with some exceptions: http://bit.ly/k3EAII ) is covered by the UK Open Government Licence: http://bit.ly/cILWrm (OGL) which came into effect January 2010 – this licence is ‘similar’ to & ‘interoperable with’ a CC BY licence. So UK government (former & current) deserve credit for this move (although adoption of CC BY licence would have been preferable). We in the UK probably need to shout more about the OGL and the extent of government material that is available for reuse on similar terms to a CC BY licence. 

Parliamentary Copyright is not currently covered by the OGL and a ‘click use’ parliamentary licence applies: http://bit.ly/lTSqsO – however, changes to this are being considered by the government. 

The word, regarding Parliamentary Copyright, from The National Archive, (the UK Government Body that manages both Crown and Parliamentary Copyright), by email today, is: 

“Parliament intend to move to an “open ” licence later this year. The National Archives has been working with Parliament in the last few months and have identified a number of options which are currently under consideration, however at this stage no decision has been made as to the licence(s) that will apply.”

So hope positive changes are on the way.

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