Canadian Government Licences are incompatible with Creative Commons

Creative Commons Canada Participates in the Open Government Licence Consultation

Creative Commons Canada participates in the Open Government Licence Consultation (

The Canadian affiliate team for Creative Commons warned the Government of Canada on the incompatibilites with Creative Commons licences found on the Proposed Open Government Licence Agreement, which will be released in Spring.

The proposal is part of the Canadian plan for an open government, aiming to promote a widely use and reuse of federal information. It  is based in the licenses for the public sector used in the United Kingdom that can be found in the website or their National Archives.

To Government’s call for comments, CC Canada submited their feedback:

Few problems remain which may limit the “openness” of the licence and lower the usefulness of government works to citizens who wish to to study them, re-use them, and otherwise add value to these taxpayer-funded resources.

The proposal can be sumarized in three points, as appears in the full post available on their website.

1. Guarantee an explicit right to sublicense under Creative Commons works derivated from federal documents.

2. Modify the obligation to “not use the Information in a way that suggests any official status or that the Information Provider endorses you or your use of the Information”. As they said, this obligation may arise conflicts and the modification will improve the interoperability with Creative Commons, as well as other licences.

3. Not purport to licence a database right, which doesn’t exist under Canadian copyright law.

Therefore, Creative Commons want this government licences to be more ‘Creative Commons friendly to promote the public access to these materials and allow citizens to reuse them on their CC-licensed works.

Let’s see in Spring, when the new Open Government Licenses release, if the Government of Canada takes notice of their comments or not. Government entities currently using Creative Commons can be found here.

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