This section explains how the Open Government Licence works for users.  It applies to all versions of the Open Government Licence.

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Open Government Licence: guidance for users (PDF, 0.06Mb)

The Open Government Licence (OGL) is a simple set of terms and conditions under which information providers in the public sector can license the use and re-use of their information. Provided that you comply with the terms you have permission to use information anywhere in the world. The licence is also non-exclusive which means that you will not be the only person able to make use of it. The OGL enables you to use information for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.

Using information under the Open Government Licence

There is no need to register or formally apply for the OGL and there is no charge for using information under the licence. Users simply need to ensure that their use of information complies with the terms.

What information can I use under the Open Government Licence?

If you come across an information resource that says it is made available under the OGL, you are authorised by the information provider to use it consistent with those licence terms. Much of this information will be accessible on public sector web sites, online portals or printed publications.

For more detailed information about the scope of Crown copyright and database right offered under the Open Government Licence please see What the Open Government Licence covers.

Is there information I cannot use under the Open Government Licence?

You cannot use information which has not been offered for use expressly under the OGL. You will need to contact the relevant rights owner of the information if no licence or re-use details are given.

The OGL has been developed to allow the use of as much information as possible, however, there are certain types information it does not cover. These are:

  • information which includes personal data, for example, the names and addresses of individuals
  • information which  has neither been published nor disclosed under information access legislation (including the Freedom of Information Acts for the UK  and Scotland) by or with the consent of the information provider
  • logos which identify a government departmental or a public sector organisation,  Coats of Arms or Crests, and the Royal Arms , unless they form an integral part of a dataset or document (and are shown accurately in their context in that dataset or document
  • military insignia
  • third party rights the information provider is not authorised to license; information subject to other intellectual property rights, including patents, trademarks, and design rights
  • identity documents such as the British Passport

How can I use information licensed under the Open Government Licence?

Information made available under the OGL can be used both commercially and non-commercially. This includes but is not limited to using the information in print, on the web/internet or in a mobile application.

You are also able to use information licensed under the OGL with information from other sources which has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License or Open Data Commons Attribution License.

However, when using information under the OGL, you must:

  • make sure that your use of the information does not in any way suggest that your product or service has any official status or is endorsed by an information provider (for example: Elsewhere County Council recommends A.N. Office Supplies for all their stationery requirements)
  • make sure you acknowledge the source of the information by including any attribution statement suggested by the owner or author of the information and, where  possible, provide a link to this Open Government Licence.

For further information see our guidance on Attributions and acknowledgment, and our Frequently asked questions.

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