Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A year of the Free Our Data campaign

Charles Arthur and Michael Cross, A few victories, but the battle goes on, The Guardian, March 22, 2007.  Excerpt:

Just over a year ago, Guardian Technology launched its Free Our Data campaign. Its aim can be described as "to make data collected and held as part of the business of civil government available in as unrefined a form as possible, for viewing, publishing and commercial reuse, without licensing conditions and at the marginal cost of dissemination, so long as that data does not compromise citizens' privacy or national security". The campaign has caught the imagination of a number of readers, businesses and advisers frustrated with complex and obscure licensing, and copyright systems and keen to make effective use of data that the government is ill-equipped to do.

A year later, what has been achieved? There have been a couple of modest victories, indicating that the ice might be beginning to thaw within government - and that the attitude to public data prevalent in the US (where it is taken as read that data whose collection is funded by taxpayers should be available to them for free) is beginning to prevail.

Much, of course, remains to be done....