Drafting exception clauses in our License

Dear all,

Need some help drafting our Open Data License here.

We have initally wrote that we will “cease to use the datasets and remove them from your applications or websites upon the request of the Government in the event that the datasets are no longer provided on [our portal] or of a breach of any of these Terms of Use.” This is deemed “not open” by the Open Definition.

Hence, we decided to replace it with an exceptions clause “This Licence does not grant you any rights over (i) any personal data should any personal data be included in the dataset inadvertently or otherwise; (ii) third party rights that the Agency is not authorised to licence; and (iii) patents, trademarks and design rights.”

This is to make sure that we protect personal data or any other data which is not supposed to be released to the public. We think that thisis more reasonable as it states explicitly the cases where data cannot be used. This is also to pre-empt cases where inappropriate data is published and had to be taken down subsequently by the agency (e.g. an agency accidentally uploaded personal data).

Can you please confirm that this clause adheres to the Open Definition ? :slight_smile:

An exceptions/exemptions clause along the lines you suggest would not in my view affect the “openness” of the Licence - it is defining material that is not covered by the licence at all. (This could raise questions about the openness of the open data policy, but that is a wider issue.) There are similar exemptions in the UK Open Government Licence [1].

The section on personal data is overcomplicated - why not just say (as in the UK OGL) “any personal data in the dataset.”

[1] Open Government Licence

Thanks a lot for confirming, Andrew! We will definitely take your comments into consideration (:smile:

Just want to :thumbsup: the comment from Andrew @dirdigeng. There are similar clauses in the UK Open Gov License. Basic point:

  • you can’t license what you don’t have rights and being explicit about that does not make the license “non-open”
  • an open license does not over-ride other protections e.g. around personal data and so there is no conflict in having an open license but making clear that personal data is still protected and if it is accidentally included then it isn’t licensed.

Thanks a lot Rufus, we are very looking forward to editing our license to make it more user-friendly and opened :slight_smile: