Statistics Canada Open Licence - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. What is an "open" licence?
  2. What information sharing rights come with the Statistics Canada Open Licence?
  3. Does the Statistics Canada Open Licence apply to all Statistics Canada products?
  4. If I already have a Statistics Canada Licence Agreement for a public use microdata file, do I need to contact you for termination?
  5. Is personal information provided to Statistics Canada protected?
  6. Does the Statistics Canada Open Licence apply to third party materials found on Statistics Canada's website?
  7. Do I need to sign the Statistics Canada Open Licence?
  8. Do I need to provide sourcing for every table or graph I create using Statistics Canada data?
  9. Am I permitted to sell Statistics Canada data "as is" or value-added products that I have created?
  10. Will Statistics Canada issue a written permission if I request it?
  11. Am I permitted to provide a link to your website?
  12. Am I permitted to include a screen shot of your website?
  13. Am I permitted to use your survey questions?
  14. Can Statistics Canada terminate my rights under the Statistics Canada Open Licence?
  15. Will Statistics Canada keep track of who is downloading and using information under the Statistics Canada Open Licence?
  16. Who can I contact for more information?

1. What is an "open" licence?

An open licence promotes wide use of data. It contains few restrictions on how data may be used and specifically allows its further distribution for both commercial and non-commercial ventures. There are no fees for any such use.

2. What information sharing rights come with the Statistics Canada Open Licence?

This licence allows you to use Statistics Canada information without restrictions on sharing and redistribution, for commercial and non-commercial purposes. You must always acknowledge Statistics Canada as the source of the information and adhere to the conditions of the Statistics Canada Open Licence.

3. Does the Statistics Canada Open Licence apply to all Statistics Canada products?

The Statistics Canada Open Licence governs the use of free and priced information, regardless of medium, format or reference year, that is published on Statistics Canada's website or available through a Statistics Canada representative.

With the exception of Statistics Canada's postal products, the Statistics Canada Open Licence applies to all standard and custom products and services including public use microdata files.When you obtain a Statistics Canada product through a Statistics Canada representative, the Statistics Canada Open Licence will be enclosed with the product.

When you obtain a postal product from Statistics Canada representative, you will be informed of its terms and conditions of use.

4. If I already have a Statistics Canada Licence Agreement for a public use microdata file, do I need to contact you for termination?

No. Existing licence agreements for public use microdata files become null and void. Effective October 22, 2018 all public use microdata files that you previously licensed from Statistics Canada are now covered under the Statistics Canada Open Licence.

5. Is personal information provided to Statistics Canada protected?

Personal information created, held, or collected by Statistics Canada is kept confidential and protected by the Privacy Act and by the Statistics Act. Data published by Statistics Canada are considered public data, are not sensitive in nature, and do not identify or provide ways to identify individuals or organizations.

6. Does the Statistics Canada Open Licence apply to third party materials found on Statistics Canada's website?

Information for which third parties own intellectual property rights is excluded from the Statistics Canada Open Licence. For such materials, you will need to contact the owner to obtain guidelines on use of their information.

On the Statistics Canada website, any third party material will be clearly identified. You must source third parties when reproducing their materials.

7. Do I need to sign the Statistics Canada Open Licence?

No signature is required, whether the data are accessed on-line or obtained from a Statistics Canada representative. By using the data, you are accepting all the terms and conditions of the Statistics Canada Open Licence.

8. Do I need to provide sourcing for every table or graph I create using Statistics Canada information?

Statistics Canada must be cited whenever data are used. If it is too cumbersome to cite the complete source(s) for each item, you may provide a truncated source ("Statistics Canada, reference year") and a link to a separate reference list. This list should be easily accessible by users of the information.

9. Am I permitted to sell Statistics Canada data "as is" or value-added products that I have created?

Under the Statistics Canada Open Licence, you are permitted to sell the Statistics Canada data "as is". You may also sell a value-added product you have created using Statistics Canada data under conditions granted in the Statistics Canada Open Licence.

10. Will Statistics Canada issue a written permission if I request it?

If you require a written permission for your records, please use the following:

"Statistics Canada hereby grants you the permission to use, reproduce, publish, freely distribute or sell information covered by the Statistics Canada Open Licence. In any use of this information, you must adhere to the conditions of the Statistics Canada Open Licence. If you do not agree to these terms, you may not use the information."

11. Am I permitted to provide a link to your website?

Yes, Statistics Canada encourages third parties to link to its site. You do not need permission from Statistics Canada to do so, but you must follow these linking practices:

  • Use only text links for linking to the Statistics Canada website.
  • Do not link and/or use the official symbols of the Government of Canada and Federal Identity Program (FIP) signatures as navigational aids.
  • The official symbols of the Government of Canada and the FIP signatures appear on non-government sites only when they are used to identify a government contribution or participation in a collaborative arrangement.
  • The creation of a link does not confuse the user as to the source of the information through such practices as framing.

12. Am I permitted to include a screen shot of your website?

Yes, you may show a screen shot of the Statistics Canada website as long as the official logos within the screenshot are not used on their own. You must also provide the source and include the hyperlink to this page on our site.

13. Am I permitted to use your survey questions?

Yes, you may undertake a survey using questions from Statistics Canada, provided that:

  • Under no circumstances, in any electronic, written and/or oral communications, should the name, logo or other proprietary graphic or trademark of Statistics Canada be associated with or included in the material reproduced.
  • No framing techniques are used to enclose any Statistics Canada trademark, logo or other proprietary information.
  • The name of Statistics Canada does not appear anywhere within the material reproduced, the questions, on the questionnaire, nor with any reference to the Statistics Act.

14. Can Statistics Canada terminate my rights under the Statistics Canada Open Licence?

Statistics Canada will terminate this licence only if you violate its terms and conditions, and do not rectify the breach to Statistics Canada's satisfaction within a specified period of time.

15. Will Statistics Canada keep track of who is downloading and using information under the Statistics Canada Open Licence?

No.  Users are not required to register prior to downloading and using information from the Statistics Canada website. There will be no comprehensive list of users.

16. Who can I contact for more information?

For more information about the Statistics Canada Open Licence, please Contact Us.

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