A number of press releases including those from the Commission, the Finnish Presidency Website and the European Parliament all provide limited detail as to the final text of the INSPIRE directive, which was agreed late yesterday as a result of a formal conciliation process.
Although the actual agreed text of the directive does not appear to be available yet, it appears that organisations like OS will continue to be able to charge for access to data with some restrictions. Organisations supplying spatial data should be able to “to license them to, and/or require payment from, the public authorities or institutions and bodies of the Community”, but such licenses “”must be fully compatible with the general aim of facilitating the sharing of spatial data” and “be kept to the minimum required to ensure the necessary quality and supply of spatial data sets and services together with a reasonable return on investment”.
I would caution anyone reading too much into these early reports, the devil will be in the detail here.. and we should also not forget that INSPIRE is about a lot more than the licensing regime.
From now on the technical experts can get on with drafting the principles around which the infra-structural components that will allow spatial data to be shared can be built- in my mind the really important part of INSPIRE
– the creation of metadata
– the technology of interoperability
– the development of data services
– mechanisms to promote national co-ordination.
Written and submitted from home, using my home 802.11 network.