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Project Details
Funding Scheme : General Research Fund
Project Number : 14612417
Project Title(English) : Open Government Data Licence in Hong Kong 
Project Title(Chinese) : 香港開放政府資料特許之研究 
Principal Investigator(English) : Prof LEE, Jyh An 
Principal Investigator(Chinese) :  
Department : Faculty of Law
Institution : The Chinese University of Hong Kong
E-mail Address : jalee@cuhk.edu.hk 
Tel : 3943 3331 
Co - Investigator(s) :
Dr GUAN, Wenwei
Dr Li, Yahong
Panel : Humanities, Social Sciences
Subject Area : Social and Behavioural Sciences
Exercise Year : 2017 / 18
Fund Approved : 561,992
Project Status : Completed
Completion Date : 31-3-2021
Project Objectives :
To investigate the relationship between OGD policy goals and the design of OGD licensing terms in the case of Hong Kong;
To explain how the design of OGD licensing terms influences new business models built upon government data;
To understand how entrepreneurs use OGD in Hong Kong and the challenges they encounter relevant to licensing terms;
To assess the influence of OGD licences on the implementation other policies, such as smart cities, big data, entrepreneurship, etc.; and
To provide valuable information for governments elsewhere implementing OGD policies.
Abstract as per original application
(English/Chinese):

世界各國的政府每天都製造並蒐集大量的資料,資料的生產是政府的重要功能之一。基於不同的政策考量,開放政府資料近年來已成為一個全球性運動。開放資料,或稱為開放公部門資訊,代表公部門推動開放數碼資訊的政策或作為,用以協助公眾以免費或極低的成本,取得、使用或散布公部門資訊。論者有時會將開放政府資料運動的討論連結到其他鼓吹運用數碼科技或互連網廣為傳播資訊的類似運動,如開放期刊近用、開放教育資源、開放標準及開放原始碼運動等。 據估計,目前全球已經有超過50個國家的250個中央或地方政府開始推動開放政府資料運動,許多政府計畫以開放資料政策提升政府透明度並促進經濟成長,不少商業組織也針對開放政府資料發展出創新的產品或服務。然而,在此同時,開放政府資料的推動也面臨了一些法律問題,而其中資料相關知識產權的特許及政府資料釋出的最佳方式為何,一直是ㄧ個懸而未解難題。 香港政府近年來推出開放政府資料的「使用條款及條件」,並致力建構一個對創業新者友善的環境,本研究以香港作為一個了解政府設計並執行政府資料特許條款的個案,首先探討香港開放政府資料的政策目的為何,及政府資料「使用條款及條件」的設計原因與目的,以「使用條款及條件」的具體內容分析開放政府資料的不同政策面向及其與特許條款之關連;本研究亦將分析民間如何以商業或非商業方式運用政府釋出的資料,研析這些運用方式與前述「使用條款及條件」的關連為何,以及「使用條款及條件」如何型塑新的數碼經營模式。研究成果預期對於知識產權相關議題、政府資料的治理模式及政府資訊政策均可產生相當貢獻,亦可協助政府評估其開放資料政策之具體成效。
Realisation of objectives: I have carefully studied and analyzed the open data policy in Hong Kong and internationally, relevant literature, and various business applications with my research assistants in this project. I also talked to various stakeholders that include but not limited to Mr. Donald Mak (Assistant Government Chief Information Officer, Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, OGCIO), Mr. Charles Mok (Legislative Councillor), Mr. Bastien Douglas, Mr. Scott Edmunds of Open Data Hong Kong (ODHK), Mr. Ben Cheng of Internet Society Hong Chapter (ISOCHK), etc. Based on my study of the open data licences and policies in Hong Kong, I also advised ISOCHK on their proposed Open Data Index. Moreover, I was invited by Mr. Charles Mok’s office to attend OGCIO’s Briefing on Government Open Data Plan to provide my advice on the open data policy on 24 January 2019. To further find out how business developed various data business models and strategies and relevant technologies, I invited Professor Man-Ho Au (Hong Kong Polytechnic University), Ms. Ryanne Lai (Zegal), Mr. Henry Pau (CiSystem Solutions), Dr. Wai Shun Lo (DL Capitals), and Mr. Winfred Fan (Anywhere Networks) to the IP conferences I organized at CUHK LAW in 2018, 2020, and 2021. The sharing of these experts had greatly helped me understand both policy and business implications of open data and to achieve the project objectives, which were sufficiently reflected in the research output listed in Part C. I shared my preliminary findings in an international conference “The Sharing Economy in China: Regulation or De-regulation for Innovation?” held by the KoGuan School of Law at Shanghai Jiao Tong University on March 27, 2018. Experts from Asia, Europe, and North America in the conference provided very helpful suggestions to this project, which lead to a series of relevant publications in Part C.
Summary of objectives addressed:
Objectives Addressed Percentage achieved
1.To investigate the relationship between OGD policy goals and the design of OGD licensing terms in the case of Hong Kong;Yes100%
2.To explain how the design of OGD licensing terms influences new business models built upon government data;Yes100%
3.To understand how entrepreneurs use OGD in Hong Kong and the challenges they encounter relevant to licensing terms;Yes100%
4.To assess the influence of OGD licences on the implementation other policies, such as smart cities, big data, entrepreneurship, etc.; Yes100%
5.To provide valuable information for governments elsewhere implementing OGD policies.Yes100%
Research Outcome
Major findings and research outcome: The project led to five publications with major findings as below: 1. Hacking into China’s Cybersecurity Law, 53 WAKE FOREST LAW REVIEW 57 (2018) Open data policy often raises security and privacy concerns, which are the focus of this paper. This paper provides a thorough analysis of cybersecurity laws and their policy implications pertaining to national security, human right, and the effectiveness of law enforcement. More importantly, this paper discusses data localization policy, a policy closely related to the limitation concerning the exploitation of open government data. 2. Open Government Data Licenses in the Greater China Region, in MAKING COPYRIGHT WORK FOR THE ASIAN PACIFIC? JUXTAPOSING HARMONISATION WITH FLEXIBILITY 197 (Susan Corbett & Jessica Lai eds., Australian National University Press, 2018) This chapter focuses on legal issues associated with open government data (OGD) licences in the Greater China region, namely Hong Kong, Mainland China and Taiwan. This study argues that the choice and design of an open data licence forms an important element of a government’s information policy. 3. Tripartite Perspective on the Copyright-Sharing Economy in China, 35 COMPUTER LAW & SECURITY REVIEW 434 (2019) This paper observes open government data policies from the perspective of Internet sharing economy. It provides a novel framework by categorizing the sharing economy into unauthorized sharing, altruistic sharing, and freemium sharing. This paper argues that government platforms with excessively restrictive licensing terms may fail to achieve the OGD policy goal of unlocking the value of data by sharing, and such restrictions reflect the political reality of stringent government control of information and market activities. 4. Domain Name Dispute Resolution in Mainland China and Hong Kong, in CAMBRIDGE HANDBOOK ON INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE TRADEMARK LAW 398 (Irene Calboli & Jane Ginsburg eds., Cambridge University Press, 2020) Just like government data, the control, use and allocation of domain names have been quite controversial. Using the domain name dispute resolution as an example, this chapter illustrates the convergence and divergence of the civil law and common law approaches to the governance of data and intangible resources. 5. Computer-Generated Works under the CDPA 1988, in ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY 177 (Jyh-An Lee, Reto M. Hilty, Kung-Chung Liu eds., Oxford University Press, 2021) This chapter is an extension of my previous study of the exploitation of data in the digitally networked environment. It discusses whether the copyright of an AI-generated work should be assigned to the programmer, trainer, data provider, or machine operators.
Potential for further development of the research
and the proposed course of action:
I have effectively used the GRF to complete a series of research and publications on open government data licenses as mentioned above. This line of research has formed a solid foundation for future research as below: 1. Open data has become a key component in the design of smart city. Therefore, the research outputs informed other research ideas relevant to legal implications of smart city, such as legal issues surrounding Internet of things (IoT) and autonomous vehicles. 2. The focus of data in this research project has opened another window for me concerning various data governance model and their legal implications. Specifically, some of the rationale in my analysis of OGD can be applied to other types of government control over data flow, such as data localization regulations. 3. Moreover, according to the finding of this research, the major use of OGD is to train AI machines for a variety of commercial purposes. There are various legal issues coming from AI algorithm’s processing of data, such as the ownership of intellectual property, personal data protection, algorithmic bias, etc. All these issues deserve more scholarly attention.
Layman's Summary of
Completion Report:
This study first investigates policy considerations for the design of OGD licences by studying government documents in Hong Kong. This study uses the design and implementation of OGD licence terms as a lens through which the different policy priorities and values underpinning OGD policies could be interpreted. The project investigates the relationship between OGD licences and the commercial reuse of OGD. By observing innovative businesses built upon OGD, this study illustrates how the restrictions in licensing terms shape new data business models. This study identifies the primary policy goals of OGD, which include the enhancement of governmental transparency, accountability, public participation, the improvement of democracy and public service quality and the advancement of innovation and economic development. These policy goals should be the deciding factors in the design and choice of licence. This study argues that the choice and design of an open data licence forms an important element of a government’s information policy.
Research Output
Peer-reviewed journal publication(s)
arising directly from this research project :
(* denotes the corresponding author)
Year of
Publication
Author(s) Title and Journal/Book Accessible from Institution Repository
2018 Jyh-An Lee  Hacking into China's Cybersecurity Law  Yes 
2018 Jyh-An Lee  Open Government Data Licences in the Greater China Region  Yes 
2019 Jyh-An Lee  Tripartite Perspective on the Copyright-Sharing Economy in China  Yes 
2021 Jyh-An Lee  Computer-Generated Works under the CDPA 1988  Yes 
2020 Jyh-An Lee  Domain Name Dispute Resolution in Mainland China and Hong Kong  Yes 
Recognized international conference(s)
in which paper(s) related to this research
project was/were delivered :
Month/Year/City Title Conference Name
Shanghai A Tripartite Perspective on the Copyright-Sharing Economy in China  The Sharing Economy in China: Regulation or De-regulation for Innovation? 
Other impact
(e.g. award of patents or prizes,
collaboration with other research institutions,
technology transfer, etc.):

  SCREEN ID: SCRRM00542