There are some interesting examples of public data licensing practice from Australia.
The first is for spatial data where a comprehensive policy for access and pricing was adopted in 2001. This has a very clear statement of objectives:
The Policy on Spatial Data Access and Pricing (‘Policy’)… sought to maximise benefits to the community from increased access to and use of spatial data; and that the supply of digital spatial data to the community be readily available, ideally over the Internet.
And it is a policy for free access for the basic datasets:
Spatial data available under the terms of the Policy are provided free of charge when delivered over the Internet, at no more than the marginal cost of transfer for packaged products (nominally $99), or at the full cost of transfer for customised services.
I have registered for a license to use one of the datasets and the process was as simple as a UK Click-Use license.
There is other interesting activity taking place in the state of Queensland with the Government Information Licensing Framework. This is an ambitious project with the following aims:
The GILF project is about creating and implementing a new standardised information licensing arrangement for all Queensland government information, not just spatial information. This will provide enhanced, on demand access to accurate, consistent and authoritative information and support a range of the government’s initiatives dependent on strategic information.
What is especially interesting about the Queensland initiative is that they are working with a local university, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), to see how Creative Commons licensing can be incorporated into their framework. This work is being carried out as part of the OAK (Open Access to Knowledge) Law Project at QUT which is also producing some very interesting material.
Richard Allan, Task Force Chair