eLaw Journal: Murdoch University Electronic Journal of Law, Vol 17, No 2 (2010)

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Open Content Licensing of Public Sector Information and the Risk of Tortious Liability for Australian Governments

Cheryl Foong

Abstract


There has been an increasing interest by governments worldwide in the potential benefits of open access to public sector information (PSI). However, an important question remains: can a government incur tortious liability for incorrect information released online under an open content licence? This paper argues that the release of PSI online for free under an open content licence, specifically a Creative Commons licence, is within the bounds of an acceptable level of risk to government, especially where users are informed of the limitations of the data and appropriate information management policies and principles are in place to ensure accountability for data quality and accuracy.

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