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Open Data User Licence

City of Waterloo

To complement the open data policy, we have leveraged a user licence (with minor changes) that has been used by many organizations in Canada and the United Kingdom.  The agreement is as follows:

Open data Waterloo user licence

"Using Information under this Licence

  1. Your use of Information indicates your acceptance of the terms and conditions below.
  2. The Information Provider grants you a worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, non-exclusive licence to use the Information subject to the conditions below.
  3. This licence does not affect any copyright exceptions or limitations available under the Copyright Act (Canada).

You are free to:

  • copy, publish, distribute and transmit the Information;
  • adapt the Information; and
  • use the Information commercially, for example, by combining it with other information, or by including it in your own product or application.

You must, where you do any of the above:

  • you are not required to provide credit to the Information Provider when using Information under this licence however if you choose to do so please use this text in a suitable location, "Contains information provided by the City of Waterloo under licence";
  • ensure that you do not use the Information in a way that suggests any official status or that the Information Provider endorses you or your use of the Information;
  • ensure that you do not misrepresent the Information or its source;
  • ensure that your use of the Information does not breach or infringe upon any applicable laws.

These are important conditions of this license and if you fail to comply with them the rights granted to you under this license will end automatically.


This licence does not cover the use of:

  • personal information;
  • information or records that are not accessible pursuant to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act of Ontario;
  • third-party rights the Information Provider is not authorized to licence, if any; and
  • departmental or public sector organization logos, trademarks, slogans or crests where they may be included in the Information.

No warranty

  1. The Information is licensed 'as is' and the Information Provider excludes all representations, warranties, obligations and liabilities, whether express or implied, in relation to the Information.
  2. The Information Provider is not liable for any errors or omissions in the Information and will not, under any circumstances, be liable for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, consequential, or other loss, injury or damage caused by its use, even if specifically advised of the possibility of such loss, injury or damage.

Governing law

This licence is governed by the laws of the Province of Ontario.


In this licence, the terms below have the following meanings:

  • 'Information' means information or data protected by copyright that is expressly made available under the terms of this license on or through the City of Waterloo website.
  • 'Information Provider' means the City of Waterloo;
  • 'Personal Information' has the meaning set out in section 2 of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act of Ontario;
  • 'use' as a verb, means doing any act that is restricted by copyright, whether in the original medium or in any other medium, and includes without limitation distributing, copying, adapting, modifying as may be technically necessary to use it in a different mode or format.
  • 'you' or 'your' means the natural or legal person, or body of persons corporate or incorporate, as applicable, acquiring rights under this licence."

Background on the licence

Open data licences are still evolving through local to international discussions on best practices.  The licence adapted, with permission, by the City originates from the U.K. Government's licence.  This licence was adapted by the British Columbia government as well as several municipalities including the City of Toronto and the Region of Waterloo.  For sake of consistency and benefit to the user community, the City of Waterloo has used the same licence.

There are ongoing discussions on an enhanced licence for all levels of government within Canada and the City will participate in these discussions and will provide updates on any new versions that are proposed for community feedback.

If you have any questions or concerns related to the current licence, please contact us.