Yesterday, the Obama team has modified the copyright notice on change.gov to embrace the intellectual property licensing of Creative Communs, allowing bloggers and others to freely use it.
A group of internet visionaries, lead by Lawrence Lessig, launched today a letter making the case for a looser online copyright regime. The group includes authors like Tim O’Reilly (who coined the term Web 2.0) and Clay Shirky (“Here comes everybody”) and the leaders or officials of Mozilla, Wikipedia, Moveon.org, Sunlight Foundation, BoingBoing and other.
“To further support President Obama’s commitment to change, and to help make it tangible, we offer three “open transition principles” to guide the transition in its use of the Internet to produce the very best in open government.”
The “Principles for an Open Transition” are three:
1. No Legal Barrier to Sharing (law (copyright law) should not block sharing);
Content made publicly available in the course of this transition — such as President-elect Obama’s videos, or policy statements posted on the change.gov website — should be freely licensed so that citizens can share, excerpt, remix or otherwise redistribute this content without unnecessary complexity imposed by the law (…)
2. No Technological Barrier to Sharing (code (limitations on downloads, for example) should not block sharing;
A merely legal freedom to share and remix, however, can be thwarted by technological constraints. Content made publicly available should also be freely accessible, not blocked by technological barriers. Citizens should be able to download transition-related content in a way that makes it simple to share, excerpt, remix, or redistribute. This is an essential digital freedom. (…)
3. Free competition (no alliances should favor one commercial entity over another, or commercial over noncommercial entities).
Governments should remain neutral in the marketplace of ideas. Transition-generated content should thus not be made publicly available in a way that unfairly benefits one commercial entity over another, or commercial entities over noncommercial entities. For example, if video of a press conference is made available in real time to television networks, it should at the same time be made accessible in a standard, universal format for download and sharing (…)
This principles will have huge global impact if endorsed by the 44th US President.
Lawrence Lessig will be one of the keynote speakers at Cisco’s Nobel Summit next week. in Stockholm. I saw Lessig a couple of times, he is a fabulous speaker. I am now even more looking forward to his open presentation.