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Tell Change.gov to…change

You may have noticed some of our recent blog posts that discuss the copyright status of the President-elect’s website, Change.gov, as well as the vanishing contents of the website, among other concerns. We here at FGI created a standard letter for you to use (see below) if you wish to contact Change.gov and let them know your concerns.

You can email the change.gov website by going to their Contact page at: http://www.change.gov/page/s/contact

If you do contact them, let us know in the comments of this post so that we have an idea on how many emails have been sent. Thanks!

Hello,

I strongly urge you to change the copyright statement on your site to clearly state that all information on the site is in the public domain. According to Copyright Law 17 U.S.C. § 105, “Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government.” Since the site is in the .gov domain, people expect the material on the site to have been produced by government employees and thus as being in the public domain.

If the bulk of material at change.gov was not created by federal employees, then I suggest that you post a blog entry explaining why your material is under copyright. You should also explore moving your content to a .org domain, which internet users understand can have copyrighted material. It would be ok to leave a redirect from change.gov to the new site as long as the new site was clearly labeled non-government.

There has been much discussion over this matter at the Free Government Information website, which you can read about here: http://freegovinfo.info/taxonomy/term/876.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely,
Rebecca Blakeley
Government Documents Librarian

UPDATE: Removed the portion of this template letter that asked for them to return the missing “Agenda” pages of the website. They’ve been restored!

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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