Licence Approval Request: Open Government Licence - Oman


#1

I would like to seek the approval of Oman’s Open Government Licence.

1. Link to the full text of the license
http://www.oman.om/wps/portal/index/opendata/ogl/

2. Rationale for the “Open Government Licence - Oman”
The objective of the OGL-Om is to provide an easy to understand licence for Omani government agencies to apply to their data/websites in order to comply with the Omani government’s Open Data Policy. The licence had to be available in Arabic and English, and it was easier to convince the government to use a short document that was developed locally and in which their domestic law was taken into consideration.

3. Explanation about how the license may be used
The licence is intended to be used by government agencies in Oman. It applies to data and to content. (Oman has no sui generis database protection and therefore only copyright restricts the use of data). The licence provides the legal framework for members of the public to be able to use government data freely.

4. Compare and contrast to the most similar approved as OD-conformant licenses.
The Omani OGL is written using language similar to the OGL UK 3.0 and OGL Canada 2.0. The Omani OGL is mostly an even more simplified version of these two licences.

However, there is one additional significant article in the Omani OGL that is not found in these two:

_Article 5 _
Prohibitions
You are not permitted to take any derogatory action in relation to the data which would be prejudicial to the honour or reputation of the Data Provider.

This provision has been added because moral rights under the Omani copyright law are inalienable and cannot be waived by contract. The closest provision to this found in an approved licence is in the Taiwanese Open Gov Data License which says:

3.1. By utilizing the Open Data provided under the License, User indicates his/her acceptance of this License and all its terms and conditions overall to do so, and shall make the reasonable efforts with respect to moral right protection of the third parties involved.

The rights protected by Article 5 of the Omani OGL are the same as the moral rights that users should respect under Article 3.1 of the Taiwanese licence.

Similarly, Section 2(b)(1) of CC-BY 4.0 recognises moral rights and that these rights will not be affected by the ilcence in circumstances where the law does not permit the licensor to waive them by contract:

Moral rights, such as the right of integrity, are not licensed under this Public License, nor are publicity, privacy, and/or other similar personality rights; however, to the extent possible, the Licensor waives and/or agrees not to assert any such rights held by the Licensor to the limited extent necessary to allow You to exercise the Licensed Rights, but not otherwise.

The Omani legal system is one of these jurisdictions in which CC-BY 4.0 will not have an effect on the status of the right to integrity (the only moral right we have besides attribution) since this right is inalienable and may not be waived by contract.

5. Explain the benefit the new license brings over already approved OD-conformant licenses which would outweigh the costs of license proliferation?
The Omani OGL provides a simple to understand licence written in the Arabic language for government agencies in Oman. It is politically difficult to convince the Omani government to adopt a foreign legal document originally written in a foreign language and which does not use the same legal terminology as the Omani legal system. This licence provides a practical to encouraging Omani government agencies to allow members of the public to use their content legally.

6. Identify which recommended conformant licenses the new license is compatible with, and how?
The OGL Oman is practically compatible with CC-BY 4.0. The primary condition under the licence is attribution, which is the same as CC-BY, with OGL Oman requiring fewer formalities in regard to the labelling of modifications.

In regard to Article 5 of OGL Oman on moral rights, CC-BY 4.0 Section 2(b)(1) recognises moral rights, such as the right to integrity (i.e. the content of Article 5 of OGL), are not covered by the licence, and requires the licensor to agree to waive these rights or to not assert them in cases where the law permits this. In Oman, the law does not permit waiving these rights, and therefore CC-BY 4.0 has the same effect in Oman in regard to Article 5 of OGL Oman.

7. Provide a link to any public drafting process for the license.
OGL Oman was not developed through a public drafting process.