[cc-community] Australian Federal Government commits to CC BY as default

Jessica Coates j2.coates at qut.edu.au
Mon May 3 21:54:39 EDT 2010


Big news from the Australian Government on the issue of access to public sector information.

In an official response<http://www.finance.gov.au/publications/govresponse20report/index.html> released yesterday, the Federal Government has agreed to 12 of the 13 recommendations to come out of the Government 2.0 Taskforce report<http://gov2.net.au/report/> released last December - including Recommendation 6.3, which states that Creative Commons Attribution should be the default licensing position for PSI.

In addition, the government has also agreed that the new Information Commissioner currently being established will issue guidelines to ensure that:

§    by default PSI is free, open, and reusable;

§    PSI is released as quickly as possible;

§    PSI may only be withheld where there is a legal obligation preventing its release.

§    when Commonwealth records become available for public access under the Archives Act 1983, works covered by Crown copyright will be automatically licensed under an appropriate open attribution licence.

The response also includes an undertaking that the Attorney-General's Department will examine the current state of copyright law with regard to orphan works (including section 200AB of the Copyright Act 1968), with the aim of recommending amendments that would remove the practical restrictions that currently impede the use of such works.

This is the single biggest commitment to CC licensing and open access principles by Australian government, and should mean that the majority of Australian government material will soon be available under a CC licence. The fact that both the response and the announcement have been released under CC BY is a good start.

The assignment of responsibility for implementation of the commitment to the new Information Commissioner is also an encouraging move, and will hopefully see a more coordinated approach to IP policy across the Australian government as a whole.

The response is available here<http://www.finance.gov.au/publications/govresponse20report/index.html> and a blog post from Finance Minister Tanner is available here<http://agimo.govspace.gov.au/2010/05/03/response-to-the-government-2-0-report/>.


Jessica Coates
Project Manager
Creative Commons Clinic and Creative Commons Australia

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