'Freely and unconditionally'

Michael Geist notes that the disrepute clause has been used since 2008 and considers the larger culture change at hand.

The government may revise the licence by removing the disrepute term, but I think a larger issue will remain … if licences could talk, this one would say “this is our data and here is how we the government will allow you the public to use it.” But open government means accepting that government data is the public’s data and that the government’s obligation is not to control it, but to make it as freely and unconditionally available to the public as reasonably possible. The right approach in addressing concerns over the new Canada open data portal is not to make a small change in the licence terms by dropping the disrepute provision. It is to drop the current licence altogether, instead adopting a simplified, open licence that tells Canadians it is their data and (subject to reasonable attribution requirements) they are free to access, use, and reuse it without restrictions.

Looking for more?

Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.