On a day when Standard Chartered shares are falling, discord between the coalition parties increases and the UK's Olympic successes become set to break records, this little bit of (slightly old) news caught this Kat's eye while getting her daily dose of current affairs. Guidance published earlier last month by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) seeks to explain why the existence of IP rights does not restrict the disclosure of a public authority's own information and third party information protected by IP rights under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA): it 'sets out the Commissioner's approach to intellectual property rights and explains to public authorities that intellectual property rights do not restrict disclosures under FOIA'. As most readers will be aware, the ICO is an independent public body that upholds information rights 'in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals' in the UK, dealing with (among other things) the FOIA (but not in Scotland, where the Scottish Information Commissioner leads the way in all things Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002).
The guidance also sets out the most relevant fair dealing provisions which allow information to be used without infringing copyright set out in Chapter III of the CDPA, to which the ICO acknowledges that:
Importantly, it is not a reason to refuse a request for information if disclosure to websites results in the automatic publication of copyright material. However, if a public authority was able to demonstrate that such disclosure would prejudice its commercial interest and engage section 43 FOIA, the public authority would, subject to the public interest test, have grounds for withholding the information.
'The issue is not whether a disclosure to a particular address would engage an exemption, but whether a disclosure to anyone, at any address, would engage the exemption. The application of the exemption does not depend on the applicant or their address'
|This cat's off to get some guidance|
Read all the guidance in PDF format here
Check out the Olympics here
And out-dated cat politics here