[geo-discuss] compressed version of the analysis of second reading amendments

Jo Walsh jo at frot.org
Tue Mar 14 06:04:45 UTC 2006

This is my compressed version of the analysis of second reading
amendments to bung as an appendix in the open letter. i removed the
digressive bits about Amendments 2 and 24, as either way they are
voted, it looks iffy. And so the core makes more sense now, and it is the
shortest possible treatment i could make, not going into the annexes 
covering kinds of data, staying with rights and access issues.

My attempt at 'fair copy' is here, sorry to have moved out of wiki
space, i find it helps focus my mind at late stages to look at docs as
they will actually be read (or as we hope they will be read ;) ):
As ever, tweaks gratefully received.


Amendment 2 (right to "view" public geodata) + 

The Council common position tried to remove the right of European
citizens to view geographic data free of cost. This amendment
reinstates that right in the preamble. Amendment 21 which restores
that right in the Articles, thus accepting Amendment 2 implies
accepting Amendment 21. 

Amendment 5 (How data covered by existing "intellectual property
rights" will be exempted from coverage by the terms of INSPIRE) - 

    22(a) The provisions of this Directive do not affect the existence or
    ownership of public sector authorities' intellectual property rights 
    This is an amendment to the recital which adds a clause in favour of
    allowing intellectual property rights to exempt public geodata from
    the requirements of INSPIRE. 

Amendment 9 (qualifying how INSPIRE relates to 2003/4/EC) + 

This amendment changes the wording of Article 2 which discusses how
INSPIRE relates to 2003/04/EC, the Directive on public access to
environmental information. 

    This Directive is without prejudice to Directives 2003/4/EC save where
    otherwise provided

2003/4/EC describes situations in which public requests for access to
state-collected environmental information can be refused. One of those
cases is that of intellectual property rights in state-collected,
taxpayer-funded data.  For where otherwise provided, we have to look
at the change which is covered in Amendment 18. Amendments 9 and 18
work as a pair. 

Amendment 18 (against limiting access to discovery services) + 

This amendment reinstates wording to INSPIRE that was proposed by the
Commission and removed by the Council. The addition in the amendment
is the following: 

    By way of derogation from Article 11(1) of this Directive 

to read in the amended version:  

    By way of derogation from Article 4(2) of Directive 2003/4/EC and
    Article 11 of this Directive

Article 4(2) of Directive 2003/4/EC provides a list of exceptions
which allow data providers to refuse public requests for public data.
These include commercial interest and intellectual property rights in
the data. Where 2003/4/EC allows agencies to refuse the public access
to their data, this amendment means that INSPIRE should guarantee that
this data can at least be searched for and viewed, even if not made
available for download. 

This amendment becomes a lot stronger if Amendment 19 is also

Amendment 19 (removing clause whereby intellectual property rights
mean data is not subject to INSPIRE rules) + 

    (e) intellectual property rights

This is an amendment to delete the clause added by the Council which
covers exemptions  allowing public agencies to refuse access to data
available through INSPIRE. If this amendment is not approved, then any
agency which has currently commercial copyright over its data will be
under no obligation to share it, on either a fee or free basis. 

Amendment 21 (both searching and viewing of public geodata should be
free of cost) +

This is a crucial amendment which deletes the clause added by the
Council whereby existing licensing terms and costs can prevent public
access to geodata. The Council's extra clause states that "view
services" can be exempted from the terms of INSPIRE where 
in cases where charges or licenses are an essential precondition for
maintaining the spatial data sets and services... Member States may
apply charges and/or licenses either to the person providing the
service to the public, or, where the service provider chooses, to the
public itself. 

Amendment 22 (view services should be made freely available) +
Where the Council version reads, in regards to view, download and
transformation services, 
    Such services may be covered by disclaimers, click-licenses or
This amendment removes the reference to licenses, shortening Article
14(3) just to read disclaimers or click-licenses. 

Amendment 27 (deletion of clause on preserving "intellectual property
rights" coming before data sharing) +
This deletes a clause added by the Council which offers intellectual
property rights as a get-out clause against making data available
under Article 17:
    This Article does not affect the existence or ownership of public
    sector authorities' intellectual property rights.

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