[Open-Legislation] Reply to: API for EU legislation

Jonathan Gray jonathan.gray at okfn.org
Thu May 26 12:58:46 UTC 2011

Niels: this is fantastic! :-)

Would you be interested in writing a short post about this for the
Open Knowledge Foundation blog? We'd love to help publicise this in
the broader open data community. If so please contact me off thread
and we can get something posted ASAP.

All the best,


On Thu, May 26, 2011 at 2:15 PM, Niels Erik Kaaber Rasmussen
<niels at buhlrasmussen.eu> wrote:
> Dear Francis
> Thanks for your answer. We have now added the following terms to the
> API-page under documentation (http://api.epdb.eu#doc):
> "Terms
> From our side we don't impose any restrictions on your use of the API. You
> can mash up with other data set and pass that on to others. You can
> sub-license derived works and in general do whatever you want to with the
> API. We don't require you to attribute us, but will be very happy if you do
> so. However you should be aware that the data itself is taken from the
> mentioned databases and that the owners of these databases might impose
> their terms of use, that we cannot be responsible for. You are responsible
> yourself to comply with any such third party terms.
> For the content that is ours (ie. does not belong to EUR-Lex, PreLex or any
> other official source) - the API for European Union legislation is made
> available under the Open Database License:
> http://opendatacommons.org/licenses/odbl/1.0/. Any rights in individual
> contents of the database are licensed under the Database Contents License:
> http://opendatacommons.org/licenses/dbcl/1.0/"
> Do you think that this statement on terms and conditions is satisfying or is
> further steps required to make the API "really open"?
> Best, Niels Erik
> --
> http://buhlrasmussen.eu
> (+45) 2680 9492
> On Thu, 26 May 2011 11:47:00 +0100, Francis Davey wrote:
>> 2011/5/26 Niels Erik Kaaber Rasmussen <niels at buhlrasmussen.eu>:
>>> Dear 'Open-Legislation'
>>> I found your thread on our EU API here (dated May 6) and would be glad to
>>> know which kind of terms and conditions you'd like to see present at the
>>> API. The data is not ours it is taken from different official sources, so
>>> we
>>> can't really license it - what we can do is to provide a free an open
>>> interface for others to use it.
>>> In regards to itsyourparliament - the data we have there has been public
>>> nearly since the opening of the site in the beginning of 2010, see
>>> http://www.itsyourparliament.eu/api/
>>> Stefan Marsiske states that "...there is unclear licensing, and it's not
>>> really open." - we are sorry for the unclear licensing, how can we fix
>>> that?
>>> And what can we do to make it really open?
>> Ideally, release it under a well recognised open licence. That is
>> easier said than done of course because creative commons doesn't
>> properly handle database rights and (for some people) the ODbL is too
>> complex.
>> You may find the ODbL is appropriate and meets your attribution
>> requirements. I'd give it a careful read:
>> http://www.opendatacommons.org/licenses/odbl/
>> In practical terms its not clear from your website what I am allowed
>> to do with your data. In particular, can I mash it up with other data
>> and pass that on to others (say via my own API)? In legal terms, may I
>> sub-license derived works? On the main page you talk about "linking
>> back" but even in these days people sometimes produce work that is not
>> made available via a webpage (or not solely) so what then? Presumably
>> you want attribution one way or another.
>> This isn't meant to be a criticism of mine, I'm just suggesting
>> reasons why someone might want more clarity in licensing.
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Jonathan Gray

Community Coordinator
The Open Knowledge Foundation


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