When the public sector publishes information people should understand that it is intended for re-use. Action is required to improve understanding of Crown Copyright, which the Taskforce found to be mis-understood by creators and re-users of data. Crown Copyright, despite its historic name, is designed to encourage re-use in the majority of cases yet the Taskforce found little appreciation of this. There were even suggestions that it was deterring potential re-users.
The use of symbols within creative commons is helpful in making the scheme intelligible to a broad range of non-expert users. OPSI may wish to give consideration to how government licensing could benefit from a greater use of symbols and other graphical means of conveying licensing information – perhaps the creation of a ‘Crown Commons’ branded license.
OPSI should begin a communications campaign to re-present and improve understanding of the permissive aspects of Crown Copyright along the lines of creative commons by end June 2009. This should be combined with ‘permission to scrape’ being given over Crown Copyright data, removing any risk of prosecution under the Computer Misuse Act. This might fall under the banner of a ‘Crown Commons’ brand. OPSI should begin a communications campaign to that end by end June 2009.