Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Public-domain ransom supermarket from Public Resource

Last month, if you remember, a new non-profit called Public Resource found that the Smithsonian Institution was selling public-domain photographs, bought copies, and posted them to Flickr

Now it's generalizing the practice.  (Thanks to Carl Malamud via Cory Doctorow via Rob Styles.)

Whenever a US government web site sells public domain content, Public Resource asks citizens to buy one copy and donate it to Public Resource for OA distribution.  To make this work, it has set up an online store stocked with content from 54 federal agencies.  From the store's about page:

When you buy content, we get the material from the U.S. government and then upload the data to places like the Internet Archive, Google Video, and other fine content sources. Because this data is public domain, anybody can use the material without restriction!

The Public Resources store is based on the US National Technical Information Service (NTIS), which sells government information to the public.  For example, see the Gov.Research Center, the NTIS division devoted to science and technology research.