Friday, October 27, 2006

Make Australian Government Publications Open Access by Christmas

In my talk for the Canberra Society of Editors on Wednesday I proposed that the Australian Government make its publications open access.

This would need just two phrases of six words removed from the Commonwealth Copyright notice used on Australian Government web pages. That would lift the restriction preventing copies of government documents being made (the restriction on selling copies could be retained).

To make this change clearer I also proposed the Australian Government adopt the Australian version of the Creative Commons license (developed by the QUT Law School and Blake Dawson Waldron Lawyers), with the options for "Attribution", "Non-Commercial" and "No Derivative Works.

This would give the Australian Government a competitive advantage when it comes to getting their policies widely known.

At the Web Standards Group meeting on Thursday, Tim Dale from the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO), mentioned that revised government web guidelines would be released in December.

I suggested to Tim the new guidelines could include a revised Commonwealth Copyright notice incorporating a Creative Commons license. He seemed to like the idea and said it would be looked at.

It happens Tim was my predecessor as the September speaker at the Canberra Society of Editors.

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