Home » Posts tagged 'Creative Commons'

Tag Archives: Creative Commons

Our mission

Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

Australian census made both easier and more difficult to freely access

Here’s a reminder that we all have to be constantly diligent to make sure govt information continues to be freely available for the long term!

Australian Census Data Released Under CC License, But Official Site Tries To Make It Hard To Download

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released the latest census data for free under a Creative Commons license but appears to be steering people towards a $250 mailed out DVD rather than making it easy to download the information directly over the internet.

Programmer and freelance journalist Grahame Bowland who first noticed it, said the government agency is going to great lengths to discourage people from downloading the files directly by dint of a convoluted site layout and Javascript functions that obfuscate file paths.

Lunchtime listen: Free Culture Conference @ Berkeley

This is actually about a month of lunchtime listens / views! Last fall, there was a Free Culture Conference held at UC Berkeley. Now the entire slate of panelists can be seen on blip.tv. Speakers included a who’s who of internet law and free culture activists — Laurence Lessig, Pam Samuelson (who just wrote a paper on excessive copyright infringement awards!), our buddy Josh Trauberer of GovTrack.us, EFF’s Jason Schultz and many more!

change.gov changes its copyright statement, gets it *almost* right

We’ve been following the Obama transition team’s change.gov site for a few weeks now and were dismayed that the change.gov site had been copyrighted — remember, government documents, including Web sites in the .gov domain, are in the public domain according to copyright law.

I was just alerted by a tweet from John Wonderlich, that change.gov has changed their copyright statement to a Creative Commons attribution license — meaning visitors are 1) free to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work; and 2) to Remix/adapt the work as long as they “attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor.” That CC license is “approved for free cultural works.”

While I applaud the change to a creative commons license as a step in the right direction, I still believe that change.gov — and all .gov sites — need to be explicitly in the public domain (which as you remember is a statutory requirement According to Copyright Law 17 U.S.C. § 105). If site administrators wanted the geek street cred that comes with creative commons, why didn’t they choose the creative commons public domain dedication?

This is an open government issue; the public domain is critical to open and transparent government operations. If the Obama administration is serious about ethics and open government, then they will change their copyright statement on change.gov and donate the site’s information to the public domain. Is that so much to ask? If you agree, please contact the change.gov administrator(s) and politely but strongly urge them to support the public domain. I just did.

–that is all.

Cataloging the Creative Commons

Michael Sauers, who has the wonderful title of "Technology Innovation Librarian" and blogs for the Nebraska Library Commission, has started cataloging and offering Creative Commons-licensed works at his library.  What he did was to take electronic versions of CC titles, post them on his library’s Web server, catalog them in the OPAC, and make them available to the public. Additionally, for titles whose license allows for physical printing of the works, they turned the electronic books into spiral-bound books to be added to the physical collection.  The result, so far, is that his library now has a collection of 9 CC-licensed electronic titles available through the OPAC along with 7 print versions available to circulate.   Also, seven of the nine titles resulted in brand new records in OCLC.  Corey Doctorow, one of the authors, has blogged about the project over at BoingBoing.

Creative Commons for Education

Today Creative Commons — a non-profit organization founded by Laurence Lessig devoted to expanding the range of creative work available for others through copyright reform and the Creative Commons license — announced ccLearn, a new division devoted to promoting the use of freely copyable materials for classrooms and education. The idea is that in order for Web technologies to truly have a revolutionary impact on education, there needs to be the development of “open educational resources (OER), which in their fullest form should be free, accessible, authoritative, and derivable.” Makes perfect sense, no?

Our mission is to minimize barriers to sharing and reuse of educational materials — legal barriers, technical barriers, and social barriers.

  • With legal barriers, we advocate for licensing of educational materials under interoperable terms, such as those provided by Creative Commons licenses, that allow unhampered modification, remixing, and redistribution. We also educate teachers, learners, and policy makers about copyright and fair-use issues pertaining to education.
  • With technical barriers, we promote interoperability standards and tools to facilitate remixing and reuse.
  • With social barriers, we encourage teachers and learners to re-use educational materials available on the Web, and to build on each other’s contributions.

[Thanks BoingBoing!]