Why aren't they Open Data? Because their licenses are not Open Data licenses:
These two clauses mean that there is no stability for someone using this data. If, something they do or say (data related or not) is not liked by the city whose data they are using, they can lose access. Or if the city finds that many data users are doing things they do not like, they can change the terms of reference to impact data previously obtained by users.
How to fix
Obligatory versioning of both datasets and licenses, and losing the above two clauses. When a dataset is released, it is given a version, and that release is matched to a (usually the most recent) license version, that will always apply to that version of that data release. Any change to a license generates a new version, only applicable to subsequent releases that choose to use the new license.
This is how things work in the Open Source world. It means that if you possess a piece of Open Source software, with a license of a specific version, someone half-way across the world from you cannot turn you into criminal and/or shut you down by retroactively changing the license. It means that you have stability. Of course, you may be shut out of the next version if they change its license, but that doesn't necessarily shut you down today. You have some level of stability.
An example: an SME builds a business based on data released by the cities. This business perhaps includes data mining tools that reveal some things that some of the cities do not like revealed or discussed. They change the license (remember: "...cancel or suspend ...without notice and for any reason...") or simply cancel or suspend the company's data access to shut this company out, and the company goes out of business.
So, if you want to release Open Source code or Open Data, you must be willing to accept that it will be used in ways that you may find offensive, to you (and/or your constituents). That is how it works.
Update: 2010 10 14: Eight Principles of Open Data from Open Government Data Principles:
- Primary Data is as collected at the source, with the highest possible level of granularity, not in aggregate or modiﬁed forms.
- Complete All public data is made available. Public data is data that is not subject to valid privacy, security or privilege limitations.
- Timely Data is made available as quickly as necessary to preserve the value of the data.
- Accessible Data is available to the widest range of users for the widest range of purposes.
- Machine processable Data is reasonably structured to allow automated processing.
- Non-discriminatory Data is available to anyone, with no requirement of registration.
- Non-proprietary Data is available in a format over which no entity has exclusive control.
- License-free Data is not subject to any copyright, patent, trademark or trade secret regulation. Reasonable privacy, security and privilege restrictions may be allowed.
Update: 2010 Nov 7: http://acrosscanadatrails.posterous.com/civicaccess-discuss-importance-of-true-open-d