On 12 December, the European Commission (EC) announced the launch of its Open Data Strategy, one which is expected to deliver a €40 billion boost to the EU’s economy each year. This strategy involves three steps:

  1. Opening its vaults of information to the public for free through a new data portal
  2. Establishing a level playing field for open data across the EU
  3. Granting €100 million in 2011-2013 to fund research into improved data-handling technologies.

The press release quotes Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes’s statement:

“Your data is worth more if you give it away. … Taxpayers have already paid for this information, the least we can do is give it back to those who want to use it in new ways that help people and create jobs and growth.”

See the full video recording of Vice President Kroes’ live press conference, and see the EC’s PSI webpage for more information.

Note that on the same day, the EC released the final report of its Pricing of Public Sector Information Study (POPSIS). The report outlines the uptake of CC licensing for PSI in Australia at page 80, citing Professor Anne Fitzgerald’s State of Play: PSI Re-use in Australia, European Public Sector Information Platform Topic Report No.13:

A notable feature of the Australian experience is the use of open content licenses on copyright-protected PSI (they are primarily Creative Commons licenses). These licenses act not only as an operational mechanism for managing government copyright but also as a driver of information policy and the promotion of web 2.0 tools so as to increase the sharing of PSI …

Credits—Photo: ‘Neelie Kroes making EC open data announcement’ by okfn, CC BY 2.0 Generic.