May 22, 2022

EU Committee Endorses Opening Up of Publicly-Funded Data

UPDATE: Here is an Official Statement from the EC (Includes Links to Additional Information)

When fully implemented, proposed new rules would:

  • Create a genuine right to re-use public information, not present in the original 2003 Directive;
  • [Our emphasis] Expand the reach of the Directive to include libraries, museums and archives;
  • Establish that public sector bodies can charge at maximum the marginal cost for reproduction, provision and dissemination of the information. In exceptional cases, full cost recovery (plus a reasonable return on investment) will remain possible;
  • Oblige public sector bodies to be more transparent about charging rules;
  • Encourage the availability of data in open machine-readable formats

From an Article on

Member states of the European Union have endorsed new rules for opening up publicly-funded data to developers, businesses and citizens.

The 27 countries agreed on the rule change on Wednesday, according to the European Commission, which is behind the proposed revision of a 2003 directive on public sector information. If the European Parliament adds its stamp of approval, national governments will then transpose the changes into their laws sometime in the next 18 months or so.

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The European Commission is also hoping to extend the reach of the Directive to include libraries, museums and archives, so information from these institutions can be accessed for the first time.

But a civil liberties protection group warned that these plans come with dangers.

Nick Pickles, director of privacy and civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: “Open data has huge potential, but it can equally have serious and wide-ranging unintended consequences. Whether it is used to re-identify supposedly anonymous data or added to existing datasets to better profile people, every dataset released needs to be properly scrutinised to ensure these risks are addressed.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.