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Australia's Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has issued a consultation paper asking for public input on, among other topics, OA to public sector information. Background and how to comment:
Industry and other stakeholders are invited to provide input to and comments on the specific topics raised below. Please forward your responses to DEFutureDirections@dbcde.gov.au by Wednesday 11 February 2009, clearly indicating any material that is commercial-in-confidence. The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy will collate and edit input for the Digital Economy Future Directions paper before publishing it in the first half of 2009.
From the introduction to the issue, see especially:
... There is considerable interest in increasing access to publicly-funded cultural, educational and scientific collections. In some instances, publicly-funded institutions have already made their material available on open access terms. For example, in 2008, the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney became the first museum in the world to release publicly-held historical photographs on the photo-sharing platform Flickr under a ‘no known copyright’ identifier. Geotags are added to create an interactive map documenting the position of the photographic content. The Museum is also releasing its ‘Photo of the Day’ online under a Creative Commons license. Similarly, in January 2008, the NSW State Library released 100 images of historical Australian ‘firsts’ on Flickr, also under a ‘no known copyright’ identifier. In the educational space, the University of Southern Queensland’s OpenCourseWare program provides access to free and open educational resources across several disciplines for students and teachers worldwide. ...
Comment. The paper's overview of OA to PSI is worth reading and generally favorable. It's especially promising to include "publicly-funded cultural, educational and scientific collections" in the discussion alongside government data. Australians shouldn't miss this opportunity to weigh in.
See also our previous post about the government's blog on the issue.