Open Access/Data

Open Access usually refers to the open-access movement, the worldwide movement to disseminate scientific and scholarly research literature online, free of charge and free of unnecessary licensing restrictions. (See Wikipedia entry, Public Library of Science) See also the Open Definition initiative.

My comments on version 2.0 of the Open Government Licence – Canada.

(The following is a re-posting of thoughts I posted to the GOSLING mailing list in response to questions about why the government created the Open Government Licence – Canada rather than adopt the generic Creative Commons or Open Knowledge Foundation licenses)

This OGLC license has an advantage to the government in that the license itself answers many of the most common misconceptions (IE: privacy, third party rightsholders, non-copyright rights) when dealing with government data that doesn't seem to come into play with other knowledge sharing.

Will Canada's postal code data finally be released?

The PM has announced Canada's signing on to a G8 Open Data Charter. That charter includes the following under Part Two - Collective Actions:

Action 2: Release of high value data


  • We recognise the following as areas of high value, both for improving our democracies and encouraging innovative re-use of data.
    ...
    Geospatial | Topography, postcodes, national maps, local maps

Does this mean we will finally have the data released to build and freely distribute a replacement for the expensive PCFRF product?

Please help by voting up the release of the postal code database.

The 2010 Dramatic Growth of Open Access

Heather Morrison, Doctoral Candidate at Simon Fraser University's School of Communication, has written an article describing the Dramatic Growth of Open Access in 2010.

With some Canadian post secondary schools questioning the value of blanket licensing from the legacy publishing industry offered by Access Copyright, 2011 may be a big year for Canadian growth in academic Open Access.

Government imposition of specific business models on creators

My first draft of the op-ed for Georgia Straight was far too long, and included not only discussion of digital locks but also commentary about government imposing royalty-based business models. It also used Georgia Straight articles by Bill Henderson and Marian Hebb as illustrations. I'm including here that last part that needed to be cut out of the op-ed.

Reminder why the term 'fair copyright' is subjective

For those who are running under the banner of "Fair Copyright for Canada", they should take a look at US bill HR6845: “Fair Copyright in Research Works Act”.

According to an email I just received from the Public Library of Science:

On September 11, 2008, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee (Rep. John Conyers, D-MI) introduced a bill that would effectively reverse the NIH Public Access Policy, as well as make it impossible for other federal agencies to put similar policies into place.

Netherlands Government Goes Open Source

In yet another blow to vendor lock-in and proprietary software standards, the Associated Press is reporting that the Dutch Government on Wednesday adopted laws requiring all national agencies to use the Open Document Format by April 2008. Even state and local agencies are required to comply by 2009; though there is flexibility in the new policy - agencies can chose to use proprietary standards, such as MS Office, but they must justify use. The new laws also mandate the use of FOSS in all agencies in a similar manner, for cost savings and accessibility reasons.

GOSLING, eat your heart out!

Free online materials could save schools billions

An article by Greg Toppo in USA TODAY talks about Open Access materials being built for K-2 students.

Canadians should be aware that the largest component of the fees collected by Access Copyright are destined to educational publishers, so replacing these old-economy publishers with Open Access would be extremely lucrative low-hanging-fruit. This would not only save provincial educational budgets millions of dollars, it would also reduce the financial and political power of one of the forces towards backward-facing copyright maximization in Canada.

OECD Public Consultation

The OECD has launched a public consultation for the Ministerial Meeting on the Future of the Internet Economy.

There's a preparatory meeting in Ottawa 3rd October, with various options for online participation, and there's an online questionnaire asking for comments in 4 areas :
* Using the Internet to improve future economic performance and social welfare
* Benefiting from convergence
* Fuelling [sic] creativity
* Building confidence

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