The gradual “penetration” of an innovative, digitally-oriented information society, in the scope of the actual convergence among telecommunications, broadcasting and information technology, create primary opportunities for access and exploitation of Public Sector Information (PSI), in the context of a fully competitive and liberalised European electronic communications market. There are now significant challenges on the scene, for improving mutual communication between public sector and private companies, thus creating chances for exploiting new opportunities, to the benefit of the broader European market(s). However, the non-existence of an appropriate legal framework governing the conditions and/or terms for the commercial use of PSI constitutes a serious drawback for any serious attempt towards evolution, and for an effective development of a European e-Communications market. Recent European regulatory-oriented policies have established and supported suitable measures and provisions, to ensure access to PSI for all interested parties and for their “free” circulation among Member States. In the context of the suggested contribution we examine current European harmonization regulatory measures, towards creating transparency and legal security for all market players involved in the wider content market, thus contributing to growth.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Public Sector Body: the state, regional or local authorities, bodies governed by public law and associations formed by one or several such authorities or one or several such bodies governed by public law.
Document: (a) any content whatever its medium (written on paper or stored in electronic form or as a sound, visual or audiovisual recording, and; (b) any part of such content.
Knowledge-Based Economy: a form of modern economy referring to a specific structural transformation, where the fast creation of new knowledge and the improvement of access to various knowledge bases increasingly constitute the main resource for greater efficiency, novelty and competitiveness.
Re-Use: the use by persons or legal entities of documents held by public sector bodies, for commercial or non-commercial purposes other than the initial purpose within the public task for which the documents were produced. Exchange of documents between public sector bodies purely in pursuit of their public tasks does not constitute re-use.
Public Sector Information (PSI): It is any kind of information that is produced and/or collected by a public body and is part of the institution’s mandated role. It often has characteristics of being: dynamic and continually generated, directly generated by the public sector, associated with the functioning of the public sector (for example, meteorological data, business statistics), and readily useable in commercial applications.
E-Government (Electronic Government): the use of information and communication technologies in public administrations combined with organizational change and new skills in order to improve public services and democratic processes and strengthen support to public policies.
Body Governed By Public Law: any body: (a) established for the specific purpose of meeting needs in the general interest, not having an industrial or commercial character; and (b) having legal personality; and (c) financed, for the most part by the state, or regional or local authorities, or other bodies governed by public law; or subject to management supervision by those bodies; or having an administrative, managerial or supervisory board, more than half of whose members are appointed by the State, regional or local authorities or by other bodies governed by public law.