Chapter I – General provisions (Art. 1-3)
Art. 1 Open Data Directive - Subject matter and scope
Art. 2 Open Data Directive - Definitions
For the purpose of this Directive, the following definitions apply:
- ‘public sector body’ means the State, regional or local authorities, bodies governed by public law or associations formed by one or more such authorities or one or more such bodies governed by public law;
- ‘bodies governed by public law’ means bodies that have all of the following characteristics:
- they are established for the specific purpose of meeting needs in the general interest, not having an industrial or commercial character;
- they have legal personality; and
- they are financed, for the most part by the State, regional or local authorities, or by other bodies governed by public law; or are subject to management supervision by those authorities or bodies; or have 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;
- ‘public undertaking’ means any undertaking active in the areas set out in point (b) of Article 1(1) over which the public sector bodies may exercise directly or indirectly a dominant influence by virtue of their ownership of it, their financial participation therein, or the rules which govern it. A dominant influence on the part of the public sector bodies shall be presumed in any of the following cases in which those bodies, directly or indirectly:
- hold the majority of the undertaking’s subscribed capital;
- control the majority of the votes attaching to shares issued by the undertaking;
- can appoint more than half of the undertaking’s administrative, management or supervisory body;
- ‘university’ means any public sector body that provides post-secondary-school higher education leading to academic degrees;
- ‘standard licence’ means a set of predefined re-use conditions in a digital format, preferably compatible with standardised public licences available online;
- ‘document’ means:
- any content whatever its medium (paper or electronic form or as a sound, visual or audiovisual recording); or
- any part of such content;
- ‘anonymisation’ means the process of changing documents into anonymous documents which do not relate to an identified or identifiable natural person, or the process of rendering personal data anonymous in such a manner that the data subject is not or no longer identifiable;
- ‘dynamic data’ means documents in a digital form, subject to frequent or real-time updates, in particular because of their volatility or rapid obsolescence; data generated by sensors are typically considered to be dynamic data;
- ‘research data’ means documents in a digital form, other than scientific publications, which are collected or produced in the course of scientific research activities and are used as evidence in the research process, or are commonly accepted in the research community as necessary to validate research findings and results;
- ‘high-value datasets’ means documents the re-use of which is associated with important benefits for society, the environment and the economy, in particular because of their suitability for the creation of value-added services, applications and new, high-quality and decent jobs, and of the number of potential beneficiaries of the value-added services and applications based on those datasets;
- ‘re-use’ means 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, except for the exchange of documents between public sector bodies purely in pursuit of their public tasks; or
- public undertakings, for commercial or non-commercial purposes other than for the initial purpose of providing services in the general interest for which the documents were produced, except for the exchange of documents between public undertakings and public sector bodies purely in pursuit of the public tasks of public sector bodies;
- ‘personal data’ means personal data as defined in point (1) of Article 4 of Regulation (EU) 2016/679;
- ‘machine-readable format’ means a file format structured so that software applications can easily identify, recognise and extract specific data, including individual statements of fact, and their internal structure;
- ‘open format’ means a file format that is platform-independent and made available to the public without any restriction that impedes the re-use of documents;
- ‘formal open standard’ means a standard which has been laid down in written form, detailing specifications for the requirements on how to ensure software interoperability;
- ‘reasonable return on investment’ means a percentage of the overall charge, in addition to that needed to recover the eligible costs, not exceeding 5 percentage points above the fixed interest rate of the ECB;
- ‘third party’ means any natural or legal person other than a public sector body or a public undertaking that holds the data.
The definition of ‘public sector body’ is based on the definition in point (1) of Article 2(1) of Directive 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council (1). The definition of ‘body governed by public law’ set out in that Directive and the definition of ‘public undertaking’ set out in Directive 2014/25/EU should apply to this Directive.
(1) Directive 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on public procurement and repealing Directive 2004/18/EC (OJ L 94, 28.3.2014, p. 65).
This Directive lays down the definition of the term ‘document’ and that definition should include any part of a document. The term ‘document’ should cover any representation of acts, facts or information — and any compilation of such acts, facts or information — whatever its medium (paper, or electronic form or as a sound, visual or audiovisual recording). The definition of ‘document’ is not intended to cover computer programmes. Member States may extend the application of this Directive to computer programmes.
A document should be considered to be in a machine-readable format if it is in a file format that is structured in such a way that software applications can easily identify, recognise and extract specific data from it. Data encoded in files that are structured in a machine-readable format should be considered to be machine-readable data. A machine-readable format can be open or proprietary. They can be formal standards or not. Documents encoded in a file format that limits automatic processing, because the data cannot, or cannot easily, be extracted from them, should not be considered to be in a machine-readable format. Member States should, where possible and appropriate, encourage the use of a Union or internationally recognised open, machine-readable format. The European interoperability framework should be taken into account, where applicable, when designing technical solutions for the re-use of documents.