16 October 2013 by Mike Linksvayer

Previous call notes. Next call December 12 (2nd Thursday of even months) at 15:00 UTC.


  • Baden Appleyard
  • Leigh Dodds
  • Herb Lainchbury
  • Mike Linksvayer
  • Max Merret
  • Kent Mewhort
  • Rufus Pollock
  • Luis Villa
  • David Wrate




Two posts by Laura James about OD on the main OKF blog

  • And a third post-call

License review

###OGL AB License and BC Licenses

David Wrate (Province of BC) began with a discussion of the BC license, asked for clarification on what the issues are with the BC license.

Herb began with a discussion of two main points that included 1) the difficulty in determining the applicability of the license because of the additional exemption clause, 2) the thought that someone might think that their use of a work

Kent reiterated by saying that the issue is just with the one clause, which is the exemption.

DW: discussed the province’s point of view about the concern about releasing information, perhaps in error, and then not having any recourse to get the data back. The province sees the FOI act that they have included in their license as a mechanism to resolve these issues.

BA: Clause 6 strikes me as a checklist for government officials to consider before releasing information, rather than being a necessary addition to a licence?

LV: sympathizes but it isn’t clear how this helps - surely one has recourse via the other acts.

DW: Fewer exemptions we have the better it is for everybody

RP: Comments on Baden’s typed in question : “What safeguard is there where material may have accidentally been released prior to the existence of this licence?”

ACTION: a policy position on exception / exemption

LV: why not use the generic “applicable laws apply” (after all, does not mean much since, yes, applicable laws apply). Better than having each individual law written into it.

DW: To answer the direct question: “What safeguard is there where material may have accidentally been released prior to the existence of this licence?”

There are provisions with the FOI Act that address the inappropriate release of material: Section 74.1 is fairly clear.

The purpose of the license is to grant permissions for the use of information covered by the license, identify what information is not covered by the license and broadly outline what is not permissible under the license.

The intent of the FOI exception in the OGL-BC exists solely to provide clarity about what material you have rights to use. The Act was named because:

  • the Province has one piece of legislation which clearly describes this what information is available, and
  • Because clarity on what data can be used helps achieve the goal of people using data.

Previous threads on the mailing list have noted that the Exceptions clause of the OGL is less than ideal because it creates uncertainty about whether the data can be used. If we can agree that jurisdictions have organizational risks they must manage for an open data program to exist, stating which law identifies material which cannot be covered by the license helps manage a risk.

That risk is further managed with policy and processes that provide checks and balances in the data publishing process to ensure that the Exceptions are never invoked.

I agree that a statement of “applicable laws” would encompass the FOI legislation. It also introduces a degree of uncertainty for users about which other laws might also apply.

I argue that a more general clause actually works against open because it give a licensor the potential to find other legislative ways to revoke the license. This potential has been discussed at length online; the outcomes of those discussions tend to favour a more precise description of what is not available for license.


The Australian Government Solictor Public Access Licences. (The AGS is not part of the Australian Government, it is a law firm that can only take federal government agencies as clients, and was formerly part of the Australian Government Attorney-Generals Department). Discussions within the Australian Government continue with respect to these licences and whether or not they are appropriate.

###Open Game License

ACTION: start on-list approval process for license, with proviso that no “Product Identity” included, and if approved, put license in little-used/not-recommended category.

Open Definition 1.2

Next steps, if any, before making 1.2 final/current, or alternate strategy https://lists.okfn.org/pipermail/od-discuss/2013-October/000635.html

ACTION: split out minor changes from major substantive change (section 12)

ACTION: review section 12 discussion on list (using a google doc as for commenting)

ACTION: continue to explore work/license split


Cleaned up version for freeze will not be ready; revisit in December

ACTION: explore repositories for license texts and license metadata which can be collaborated on across projects and included in projects as git submodules.

AC membership

A few people considering if they could be OD AC chair in 2014.