Yesterday, Change.gov announced its content will be copyrighted under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license — the most open of the CC licenses. This means content posted by the transition team, as well as any content submitted by visitors to the site is open for sharing, editing, mixing, and so on. Or as Ars Technica wrote: “Rip, Mix, and Govern.” This move for Obama keeps with his promise of “transparency.” Yet, it was a bit of an oxymoron for a government site geared toward public participation to fall within an “all rights reserved” copyright in the first place. Most .gov sites are in the public domain (the most open of open).
We can only hope (and continue pressing) that Obama remain accountable to this promise when it comes to critical public interest issues — not least of which include reversing the FISA Amendments Act (signed by Bush and supported by then-Senator Obama) and removing permanent mandatory gag orders under the PATRIOT Act. More than those topics later….
In the meantime, information advocates have posted a few principles toward an even more Open Government. See http://open-government.us/