European Project LAPSI: Kick-Off Meeting

LAPSI Thematic Network Kick Off Meeting
Giovedì 25 marzo 2010, ore 9-18

Rettorato dell'Università di Torino
Via Po,17 - Torino

Information generated and collected by public sector entities represents a veritable minefield; it might make a much greater contribution to EU economies and societies, if current legal barriers to access and re-use were removed. The LAPSI (Legal Aspects of Public Sector Information) project intends to build a network apt to become the main European point of reference for high-level policy discussions and strategic action on all legal issues related to the access and the re-use of the PSI namely in the digital environment.

The LAPSI network shall build on the COMMUNIA experience, which was coordinated by POLITO/Nexa Center for Internet & Society which today is acting as coordinator of the LAPSI proposal; it further intends to forge links to the extent possible with European projects of reference such as ePSIplatform and to eventually set up a working relationship with nationally relevant projects such as ASITA (Italy), APORTA and AVANZA (Spain) and others. The idea underlying this approach is that the LAPSI network follows up the PSI-related discussion so far structured and organized by other resources, in particular by striving to add to the current state of the art the coverage of the aspects which have not yet been considered, particularly in the field of PSI implementation and deployment, including through licenses, adding to the debate major issues such as the cross-border character of PSI re-use, related business models and the pricing issues.

The LAPSI network will cover a substantial part of the European Union Member States. Through the existence of an Advisory Board it will also build strategic relationships with third countries such as the United States and Switzerland, where similar policy discussions on the above topics are ongoing and have in some regards generated especially satisfactory outcomes. Even though LAPSI gives priority to the legal dimension, its Advisory Board is designed in such a way as to take into account cutting edge experience in advanced specialized fields, such as access and re-use of geographical data.

As a part of the CIP-ICT PSP program, LAPSI project will directly contribute to the i2010 strategy of the European Union. The LAPSI project will build a network of organizations that is intended to become the main European point of reference for deployment and implementation as well as high-level policy discussion and strategic action on legal issues related to the PSI. LAPSI network addresses areas which have a public interest and which would not develop or would develop at a slower pace if left only to the current incentives structure of monopolistic operators; state-of-the-art evidence has repeatedly shown that the PSI has difficulties thriving in today's frame, which leads to excessive limits to PSI re-use, to the detriment of exploitation of common (cultural) resources; after a clear understanding of the issues involved, public action is therefore necessary: LAPSI network aims to make PSI in Europe more accessible, re-usable and exploitable, namely through an analytical work and the diffusion of information in areas of public interest at Community level; in particular the dissemination under “sharing” licensing models is apt to contribute to the dissemination of PSI information throughout the Community and beyond. This approach is intended to produce as a result a general enrichment of the players involved – the participants of the network and those who will be reached by the dissemination efforts – as well as, and most importantly, a set of strategic guidelines that will help all the stakeholders at all levels to approach the issues posed by PSI in a more effective and forward looking way.