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Full Report Online Consultation of Stakeholders

Full Report Online Consultation of Stakeholders

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Published by ePSI Platform
The full report on the online consultation with regard to the PSI Directive.
The full report on the online consultation with regard to the PSI Directive.

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Published by: ePSI Platform on Mar 30, 2011
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Results of the online consultation of stakeholders"Review of the PSI Directive"
Executive summary
The 2010 consultation on the review of the PSI Directive spurred high interest among differentcategories of stakeholders, with 594 responses received - an over 15-fold increase compared with the2008 consultation. The Commission received responses from 37 countries, including from all Member States but Cyprus, with almost 30% of all responses submitted by German respondents and 80% of allresponses submitted by respondents from 11 Member States (DE, FR, UK, FIN, ES, IT, BEL, NL,SWE, AT, PL). 5 Member States submitted official positions in response to the consultation, (Belgium,Denmark, France, Netherlands and UK). However, on top of these five, several individual Ministriesand governmental services submitted responses online and these were each time included in the PSIbodies' category.The responses embrace the different actors present in the PSI value chain: PSI content holders, other public authorities not holding any PSI, PSI re-users, academics and experts, citizens and 35respondents identified as "other", among which were e.g. public companies, interested associations,standard setting organisations. The responses from the PSI re-users cover to a considerable degree thedifferent active sectors of the information reuse market. Considerable input was received from smallscale IT companies – re-users of PSI as well as from important re-users of geographical, legal andbusiness information. The main European publishing and broadcasting associations as well ascompanies representing this sector also provided their input. The response of the PSI Alliance, whichrepresents the views of an important group of private sector companies and associations active in thePSI field, should also be noted. Among PSI content holders were e.g. representatives of individualministries, local governments, meteorological and geographic institutes, statistical offices, landregistries and cadastres, judicial authorities. Among other PSI bodies were several archives, publicbroadcasters, libraries.An overwhelming majority of respondents signalled that PSI re-use has not reached its full potentialand supports further action to stimulate re-use and to promote cross-border provision of PSI basedproducts and services, although responses to the last topic showed some difference of opinion amongthe PSI bodies.In general, a majority of respondents favours amendments to the Directive although support for amendments ranges according to the category of respondents from some 40% of PSI content holders upto over 70% of re-users.Suggestions for legislative amendments and for additional soft-law guidance did not differ significantlyamong specific categories of respondents. Respondents signalled many issues that in their view remainproblematic, but several topics stand out clearly within the submissions.Respondents across all categories, with strongest support from re-users, academics and "others", calledfor amending the general principle to establish a right to re-use (with a notable exception of Belgium,which expressly pleaded for maintaining the current discretion).Generally, respondents across all categories also called for legislative amendments or soft-lawclearance on the issues of public task, charging, several issues related to data and licensing conditions.1
Just as re-users and academics, PSI bodies have indicated that the lack of a clear definition of whatconstitutes a public task is one of the main hurdles for data re-use.Many respondents in all categories addressed the issue of data formats. In general, respondents ask for more re-use friendly formats. Many ask the Commission to harmonise and standardise ways of makingdata available, standardise access formats and procedures for data and metadata delivery, manyindicating a preference for open digital formats.The question of charging received much attention from all respondents. It is clear from manysubmissions that clarification and guidance on many charging issues is required, including on chargingstrategies versus open access or on admissible tariffs. Re-use at charges based either on full or onpartial cost recovery did not receive support of stakeholders and frequently respondents also called for either a proscription or a clarification of the term of "reasonable return on investment". Most supportwent to free non-commercial re-use. Some 30% of respondents favoured marginal costs solutionsManyarguments in favour of and against the marginal costs solution were advanced by respondents in allcategories and there is no consensus on this point. and many submitted suggestions on how to addressthe charging challenge. This multitude of proposals demonstrates that no one size fits all (e.g. coredata / raw data versus value added; type of end use) and these differences must be accounted for inorder not to inhibit data re-use.Mainly PSI re-users and academics (with fewer PSI bodies) also pointed out that restrictive and /or un-harmonised licensing terms are frequently a barrier to re-use and that acceptable conditions should bemore precisely spelled out in the Directive. Many respondents across categories called for standardisation of licensing terms, frequently suggesting the Creative Commons framework. Amongthe re-users and the academics, many respondents called for stronger obligations regarding redressmechanisms and transparency. A recurring remark from re-users is the difficulty to locate a competentinterlocutor within PSI content holders.More specifically on the question of scope, respondents generally favour an extension of the Directive,with little difference among opinions regarding each excluded sector but with differences in supportrates: least support from PSI holders (around 50% for each sector) and most from academics andcitizens (neighbouring 80% for each sector). Representatives of the excluded sectors essentiallyrecalled the arguments against extending the scope that were used to justify the initial exclusion of these sectors from the scope of the Directive, i.e. preponderance of third party intellectual propertyrights on materials held by these public bodies. An additional argument, relating to protection of privacy and personal data, was brought forward against extension of scope by representatives of publicarchives.Finally, respondents across all sectors generally called for support and deployment measures topromote PSI re-use, including across borders. These measures range from guidance on many topics(licensing, charging, public task, data quality) to support for the development of national data portalsand for a European single access point to data.In summary, responses to this consultation demonstrate that although compared with the previousreview, the culture of re-use has made its way in many Member States (in particular the UK, France,Denmark), much remains to be done to maximise the potential of PSI re-use and to fully exploit therules established by the 2003 PSI Directive, several provisions of which require amendments or clarification.2
1. Background
The Digital Agenda for Europe lists the revision of the Directive 2003/98/EC on the re-use of publicsector information (PSI Directive) among key actions for achieving the Digital Single Market. Ithighlights that governments can stimulate content markets by making PSI available on transparent,effective and non-discriminatory terms. This is an important source of potential growth of innovativeon-line services.Consultation of interested parties forms part of the review process. The purpose of this openconsultation was, therefore, to gather information from as many sources as possible, includinggovernments, public sector content holders, commercial and non-commercial re-users and otheinterested parties, on their views on the review of the PSI Directive. The information thus receivedprovides valuable input for the impact assessment that will be carried out by the Commission in thefirst half of 2011, subsequently followed by proposals for possible legislative or other measures.The online consultation was launched on 9 September 2010 and closed on 30 November 2010. Theconsultation was published on the Commission's 'Your Voice in Europe' webpage athttp://ec.europa.eu/yourvoice/ipm/forms/dispatch?form=psidirective2010. The launch was publicisedthrough a press release
, on Twitter 
, on the Information Society PSI Thematic Website
and on theePSIplatform portal
. In addition, all types of stakeholders were informed about the consultation andinvited to submit their views through their associations and individual email messages, includingthrough the PSI Group for Member States.
2. Replies to the consultation: statistics
The Commission received 585 responses online and further 9 responses by email. The responsesembrace the different actors present in the PSI value chain: PSI content holders, other public authoritiesnot holding any PSI, PSI re-users, academics and experts, citizens and respondents identified as"other".5 Member States: Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the UK (submitted by NationalArchives on behalf of the UK) submitted official position papers to the consultation, albeit only the UK via the online consultation.In fact, several responses from individual ministries or other governmental entities were submittedonline, but it remains unclear to what extent these submissions represent the official views of theMember State, views of the entity as a public sector body or the individual views of the person havingsubmitted the response.The responses from the PSI re-users cover, to a considerable degree, the different active sectors of theinformation re-use market. Considerable input was received from small scale IT companies – re-usersof PSI as well as from important re-users of geographical, legal and business information. The mainEuropean publishing and broadcasting associations as well as companies representing this sector alsoprovided their input. The response of the PSI Alliance, which represents the views of an importantgroup of private sector companies and associations active in the PSI field, should also be noted.

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