Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, March 30, 2007

UK Free Our Data campaign talks to minister in charge of public data

Michael Cross, Minister listens to Guardian's campaign call, The Guardian, March 29, 2007.  Excerpt:

Without political involvement, a campaign about government data hasn't got much chance. So it must count as important that we got an off-the-record meeting with the minister in charge of that data. Baroness Ashton (Catherine Ashton), of the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA), is responsible for policy on public sector information - the digital crown jewels which the Guardian's Free Our Data campaign says should be liberated....

Another familiar concern is how we get to free data from where we are today, when a number of government-owned bodies depend on sales of information and information products. To avoid jeopardising the quality of work by organisations such as Ordnance Survey, at least some of this income would need to be replaced by direct subsidy. We would like to see authoritative studies - new or existing - into how much this would cost, set against the gain to the national economy of making data as freely available as the Greenwich time signal....

For more detail, see the Free Our Data blog post on the same interview.