The QUT Creative Commons people ave been going around Australia talking about how the Australian versions of these open access licenses can be used to provide better access to information for business, education, government and the community. They left Canberra to last, as there considerable knowledge of this in the federal public service and universities already.
The most important point about CC is that it is based on copyright. Normally the emphasis with Copyright is on stopping people doing things with material, but CC emphasizes what you can do.
Stuart Corner wrote yesterday about "Ericsson calls for consumer-friendly, market-promoting copyright reform" (iTWire, 3 November 2011 13:30). Ericsson's "Guiding Principles to Copyright Enforcement in a Networked Society" (by RENE SUMMER, Ericsson Group and Dr Nicolas Suzor,
Queensland University of Technology). Unfortunately the report was not well formatted and so is hard to read on-line. Here is an excerpt:
A one sided approach which enforces copyright at the expense of all other stakeholders and the digital competitiveness of nations is not the cure for the problem nor a treatment of the symptoms. Economic history has already taught us well that a monocausal explanation of complex processes and hence one-sided solutions will not work. ..While looking for open access material on-line I also came ac cross the Australian Governments Open Access and Licensing Framework (AusGOAL). This government website provides guidance on open access licenses. AusGOAL appears to be recommending the use of the Creative Commons Australian licence for government as the preferred option. However, I am not sure as I could not get their License Chooser to work (I got as far as "About the Licensing Review" and then got stuck).
It is not clear who has endorsed and is using AusGOAL. While it has a national Australian government domain name (gov.au) and is written as if it is providing official advice for federal government, the domain name is registered to the Queensland Department of Public Works.
There is a need for clear authoritative advice on how to implement open access in Government. Unfortunately the current initiatives, including those by QUT and AusGOAL are not doing that effectively. This partly because they do not take into account the way government makes decisions in practice, at the level where devisions on web publishing are made.
In the mid 1990s I was part of the group which introduced the web to the Australian Government. Contrary to the official histories, this was a confused, messy process which involved considerable conflict. What got the federal government on the web was a loose alliance of public servants, academics, political staff and industry. What was needed was to show that it would work and was palatable to all concerned. A similar loose alliance is needed to advance open access.
From bitter first hand experience I found that simply writing and issuing government policy does not result in that policy being implemented. What is needed is to explain to those who have to implement the policy why it is in their individual interest, as well as in the public interest. They also have to see that people like them use and support it. They also need the education and support to implement the policy.
To help with open access I designed and run the ANU course COMP7420 with a set of notes available: Electronic Document and Records Management.