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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Three principles for open information and open government

Lawrence Lessig and others have drafted three Principles for an Open Transition for the Obama administration.  Excerpt:

...[W]e offer three “open transition principles” to guide the transition in its use of the Internet to produce the very best in open government.

  1. No Legal Barrier to Sharing

    Content made publicly available in the course of this transition — such as President-elect Obama’s videos, or policy statements posted on the website — should be freely licensed so that citizens can share, excerpt, remix or otherwise redistribute this content without unnecessary complexity imposed by the law.

    Both Senator McCain and President-elect Obama endorsed this principle in the context of presidential debate video rights. The same principle should apply to the transition. now respects this principle. By default, content on that site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license...

  2. No Technological Barrier to Sharing

    A merely legal freedom to share and remix, however, can be thwarted by technological constraints. Content made publicly available should also be freely accessible, not blocked by technological barriers. Citizens should be able to download transition-related content in a way that makes it simple to share, excerpt, remix, or redistribute....

  3. Free Competition

    Governments should remain neutral in the marketplace of ideas. Transition-generated content should thus not be made publicly available in a way that unfairly benefits one commercial entity over another, or commercial entities over noncommercial entities.

    For example, if video of a press conference is made available in real time to television networks, it should at the same time be made accessible in a standard, universal format for download and sharing. The transition team’s decision to make press conference video available on its website is a step in the right direction....

The site is also collecting signatures in support of the principles.

PS:  If you're inclined to sign these principles, then you should also vote for the proposal that Obama administration should require OA to publicly-funded research.