Similar to other government corporations, Hydro‑Québec adopted a collective open licence to curb the proliferation of user licences. The company chose the Creative Commons Attribution – Non‑Commercial 4.0 International licence (CC‑BY‑NC 4.0). This choice is based on the ease of reuse of the data and user awareness of giving the benefits they obtain back to the community.
Only the full licence text is deemed authentic. Some aspects are provided below:
- The licence authorizes sharing—copying, distributing and communicating—the data and content by all means and in every format.
- The licence authorizes adapting—remixing, transforming and creating—the data and content for all types of uses, except for commercial uses.
- As long as the user abides by the licence conditions, Hydro-Québec may not withdraw the authorizations granted under the licence.
- Under the licence, the user must cite the source of the data and content, indicate whether they have been modified and include a link to the licence. The user must specify this information by all reasonable means, without suggesting that Hydro-Québec supports the user in their modification of the data or content or the ways in which they have been used.
- The user may not resort to legal action or technical measures that would restrict others from using the data and content under the conditions of the licence.
- Users do not have to comply with the license for elements of the material in the public domain or where your use is permitted by an applicable exception or limitation.
- No warranties are given. The license may not give you all of the permissions necessary for your intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy, or moral rights may limit how you use the material.
Hydro-Québec’s open data principles
Hydro-Québec looked to the Ten Principles for Opening up Government Information set out by the Sunlight Foundation to establish the following criteria for open data:
- Completeness: The datasets released by Hydro‑Québec should be as complete as possible and reflect the entirety of what is recorded about a particular subject.
- Primacy: The datasets released by Hydro‑Québec should include the original information collected and all known details on how the data were collected.
- Timeliness: The data released by Hydro‑Québec should be released and updated as quickly as possible.
- Ease of access: The data released by Hydro‑Québec should be accessible to as many users as possible and for the widest range of uses.
- Machine readability: The data released by Hydro‑Québec should be stored in widely‑used file formats that easily lend themselves to machine processing.
- Non‑discrimination: Any person should be able to access the data released by Hydro‑Québec at any time without having to identify himself/herself or provide justification.
- Commonly owned: The data released by Hydro‑Québec should be provided in at least one open format and not require a software licence to be accessed.
- Licencing The data released by Hydro‑Québec should be open and therefore available without restrictions on use, such as third‑party copyright or a patent, trademark or trade secret.
- Permanence: The data released by Hydro‑Québec should remain accessible in perpetuity online or in archives, while respecting the original release.
- Usage costs: The data released by Hydro‑Québec should be released without user fees
For Hydro‑Québec, these principles are subject to the provisions of the Act respecting Access to documents held by public bodies and the Protection of personal information, CQLR c. A-2.1.
Useful links regarding open data
- Working with Data and Application Programming Interfaces (Government of Canada)
- FAQ [in French only] (Québec government))