For this reason, the Commission adopted a Decision on the reuse of Commission documents.
The decision on the reuse of Commission documents has the following key features:
As a default rule, reuse is allowed for non-commercial and commercial purposes
- without the need for an individual application,
- without charging the reuser;
- without putting conditions on the reuse and
- without discriminating between reusers.
Each of these features is subject only to limited, duly justified exceptions.
The decision does, however, not apply to:
- Software or documents covered by industrial property rights (such as patents, trademarks etc)
- Documents for which the Commission is not in a position to allow re-use in view of intellectual property rights of third parties
- Documents made accessible to a party under specific rules governing privileged access to documents.
In order to make reuse of its documents as easy as possible, in February 2019 the Commission also adopted a Decision that defines two Creative Commons licences as default licences for Commission content:
- Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC BY 4.0) for all content.
This means that the content (documents, data) can be reused provided that the source is acknowledged; the reuser may not suggest that the Commission is endorsing the use made of this content;
- Commons Universal Public Domain Dedication deed (CC0 1.0) for raw data, metadata or other documents of comparable nature.
This means in practice that such content can be considered as in the public domain and can be used without any further requirement or obligation.
Please see also internal study undertaken that underpins the choice made by this Decision. It examined different licensing options, including the development of a bespoke licence by the Commission.