Crown Copyright

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= "Crown copyright is a form of copyright claim used by the governments of a number of Commonwealth realms. It provides special copyright rules for the Crown (i.e., state entities). " [1]



" The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO) at The National Archives manages Crown copyright and Crown database rights on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen in the following ways: We license a wide range of Crown copyright and Crown database right information through the Open Government Licence and the UK Government Licensing Framework We grant delegations of authority to government departments and agencies to enable them to license the information that they create or hold We regulate any government departments and agencies which have authority from us to license the information they create, through our Information Fair Trader Scheme (IFTS) "


" Permission is always required when the work is being revised, adapted, or translated regardless if the purpose of the reproduction is for personal or public non-commercial distribution, or for cost-recovery purposes.

Permission is always required when the work being reproduced will be distributed for commercial purposes. "


" Australian Government agencies are required to release copyright public sector information under Creative Commons by licence or other open content licences, wherever possible. This is in line with recommendations of Government 2.0 Taskforce Report.

As a result of the report the Commonwealth Copyright Administration (CCA) was disbanded.

This department no longer coordinates licences on behalf of other government agencies. Each agency is responsible for the management of its own copyright licences. "


Proposed by David Eaves:

“The Three Laws of Open Government Data:

  • If it can’t be spidered or indexed, it doesn’t exist
  • If it isn’t available in open and machine readable format, it can’t engage
  • If a legal framework doesn’t allow it to be repurposed, it doesn’t empower”

“To explain, (1) basically means: Can I find it? If Google (and/or other search engines) can’t find it, it essentially doesn’t exist for most citizens. So you’d better ensure that you are optimized to be crawled by all sorts of search engine spiders.

After I’ve found it, (2) notes that, to be useful, I need to be able to play with the data. Consequently, I need to be able to pull or download it in a useful format (e.g. an API, subscription feed, or a documented file). Citizens need data in a form that lets them mash it up with Google Maps or other data sets, or analyze in Excel. This is essentially the difference between VanMaps (look, but don’t play) and the Vancouver Data Portal, (look, take and play!). Citizens who can’t play with information are citizens who are disengaged/marginalized from the discussion.

Finally, even if I can find it and play with it, (3) highlights that I need a legal framework that allows me to share what I’ve created, to mobilize other citizens, provide a new service or just point out an interesting fact. This is the difference between Canada’s House of Parliament’s information (which, due to crown copyright, you can take, play with, but don’t you dare share or re-publish) and say, which “pursuant to federal law, government-produced materials appearing on this site are not copyright protected.”

Find, Play and Share. That’s want we want.”

More Information