Statistics Sweden, the national Swedish agency for statistics, changed the, license for their open data to CC0 on July 1. The decision, which was taken on May 25, makes it much easier to reuse statistics from the agency. Among other things, it will be possible to upload it to Wikidata. Hopefully, this can inspire more agencies in Sweden to make the same decision, as well as agencies for statistics in other countries.
More and more agencies in Sweden adopt CC0 as a license for their open data. The Swedish government has taken measures to increase the capability of Swedish government agencies to make open data accessible. The fact that an agency as central as Statistics Sweden makes it easier for others to reuse their data is important, in this context.
The difference between their previous license, CC BY, and CC0, is that attribution is required for the former, but not for the latter. In Wikidata, the structured, linked database run by the Wikimedia movement, sources are always attributed for larger uploads. Wikidata requires, however, CC0, in order to make it easier for others to come up with creative solutions by using the information in Wikidata.
We hope to see an increase in the reuse of Statistic Sweden’s statistics, by changing to CC0. I’m thinking specifically of such statistics and geodata that can easily be connected with other open data. We have, to give an example, invested a lot of time and effort in making statistics over smaller areas in municipalities freely available, as well as the digital divisions of areas that are needed to visualize the statistics together with maps. We also know that economic business indicators, and other statistics that are frequently updated – such as the number of deaths per week during the Covid pandemic – can be interesting to use.Marie Haldorson, head of department for the management team at Statistics Sweden
Statistics Sweden holds massive amounts of qualitative and highly interesting data. Due to that, Wikimedia Sverige has wished for a long time for a changed license, something which agencies such as the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute have already done. We are very excited to see that they are finally changing the license, and are looking forward to working with their data on the Wikimedia platforms.
We have discussed licenses with Statistics Sweden for several years. We are very happy that they have now changed their license, to make it as easy as possible to reuse their data! We look forward to working with them, to include the very highly qualitative and interesting information from Statistics Sweden on the different Wikimedia platforms, in order to give everyone access to correct and updated information.John Andersson, Executive Director at Wikimedia Sverige.
We hope, of course, that this decision will make other agencies, which have so far not done so, change their license too. The Swedish government and parliament have stressed, on several occasions, the importance of open data, and the Agency for Digital Government has recommended the use of CC0. When a central agency such as Statistics Sweden takes this important decision, it will hopefully pave the way for others to do the same.
In addition to this, there are not many statistical agencies worldwide that use CC0. We hope that this decision can also inspire other countries to take this step.