Entry for Government Budget / Belgium

Thanks for reviewing the government budget entry, one of the remarks is “not openly licensed” because somewhere on the site (or in the dataset) it seems to be mentioned that “The information is available free of charge but if cited and only be used for personal use”.

Can you please point me out where exactly that limitation is mentioned ? Because official acts are explicitly not covered by copyright in Belgium ( Code of Economic Law, Art. XI.172. § 2), so if the site (or dataset) mentions a limitation, it is overruled anyway, so that should be more clear on the site itself… Thanks.


I actually reviewed it, and the translation of the license that was linked was very confusing! Moreover, the website - http://www.begroting.be/NL/pages/budgetOnline.aspx has no link to a license and the footer says: © 2017 Belgian Federal Government

I also looked at the 2015 entry and saw there as well that the dataset was marked as not openly licensed.


thanks for the feedback, we really need to change that, since the budget is also sent to the parliament so it’s pretty much as official as it can get, so actually not copyrighted…
Would it still count for GODI 2016 if we clarify this on the begroting.be website ?

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do you have a link to the law that shows that the budget is not copyrighted?

Indirectly… as explained on the website at the bottom of http://www.begroting.be/NL/Pages/budgetDefinition.aspx, the budget is actually passed as a Law “Iedereen kan de begroting inkijken. In België komt de begroting tot stand in de vorm van een wet.”

The law on accouting and organisation of the budget (LOI - WET - “Wet houdende organisatie van de begroting en van de comptabiliteit van de federale Staat”), article 44 - 47 explain that a budget-as-a-law-proposal has to be submitted and approved by the Parliament every year.

And official acts like laws are not copyrighted in Belgium, as mentioned in LOI - WET

Art. XI.172 § 2 states “Er bestaat geen auteursrecht op officiële akten van de overheid.”
which translates to “there is no copyright on official acts of the public authorities”

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Ok, good to know! Thanks @barthanssens. We will wait for the next step of the index to look into it (more about it, next week!)

Dear @barthanssens, thank you very much for your feedback. As part of the public dialogue, we will follow up on your input and will get back to you in the coming days.
All the best,

Hi @barthanssens,

Thank you so much for clarification, I will implement this now and accept the data as public domain. I’m not sure how this would work, but are there arguments against using an open license to mark in an easily understandable way how others can use budget information. It would be very interesting to hear if there are any issues within Belgian government of applying open licenses when there is actually no copyright to the data.

There was an interesting related discussion in our forum. Enrique Zapata from the Mexican government elaborates there how the Mexican government seeks to implement free use terms that flag public domain status.

Would be great to hear more about your experiences (not least, since we want to do research exactly on the state of open licensing in government)

Well technically it won’t be an issue for much longer (the Belgian federal open data strategy recommends considering CC0 for open data, and there will be a Royal Decree to make it a stronger requirement - comply or explain etc - hopefully within a few months).

From a legal point of view, it may not make sense (in this case) to mention it is CC0 (because the law already states that copyright is not applicable…) IANAL so I’m not even sure if something that has legally no copyright owner in the first place, can be declared public domain using CC0.

In addition, we are also discussing rewriting the disclaimers/copyright notices on many of the federal websites, since they are not fully aligned, and there is some rework to do anywa (not related to open data, but privacy policy, only-once law etc). So that will be the opportunity to make it more clear to the audience that the data can be reused freely, whether it is under CC0 or not-copyrighted-to-begin-with…

Thanks for the input. Indeed there has been some discussion around the question how to license public domain data (or not). You can find them here and here.

In any case I would like to stay updated about the Decree and any further information you have about the process.

Same goes for the Laws / Decrees dataset (see also National Laws / Belgium - B7 discrepancy)

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