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Regulations on the re-use of public sector information have been in force since 2005. However, the original regulations did not apply at all to cultural establishments or educational and research establishments. Furthermore, the original regulations did not oblige any public sector body to permit re-use of its written or electronically stored content. Instead, the original regulations just set out the rules public sector bodies must follow if they chose to permit re-use of their documents or other content following receipt of a request for re-use.
New regulations on the re-use of public sector information are taking effect from 18 July 2015. These new regulations extend the scope of the rules on permitting re-use of content to cover public sector museums, archives and libraries (including university libraries). This increases their relevance to the charity sector.
Cultural sector bodies will generally be required to permit re-use of information that (a) it has identified as being available for re-use, (b) has been provided to the person requesting re-use, or (c) is otherwise accessible without having to make a subject access request under the Data Protection Act or a freedom of information request. However, if a cultural sector body holds the intellectual property rights in the relevant information, it has a discretion as to whether to permit re-use where it receives a request from someone for re-use.
More guidance on the new regulations has been published by the National Archives – you can access this here.
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