EU countries to allow reuse of public data, including from libraries and museums

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Believe it or not, the European Union's public data hasn't been very public: despite a 2003 directive, there wasn't a clear right to reuse weather or other vital data, whether it's for an app or a service. Logic is taking hold now that 27 countries on an EU Council committee have endorsed a European Commission revision opening the floodgates. The new rules would require that EU countries explicitly permit citizens and companies to reuse public information, either for free or no more than the basic cost of sending it out. The revamp would also push availability in open formats, along with expanding the directive's coverage to archives, libraries and museums -- you know, repositories of nothing but public knowledge. Both the European Parliament and individual governments will have to sign the changes into law sometime in the (likely not-so-near) future, but the shift could lead to a sudden wealth of data for Euro-centric hardware and software.

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