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Obama’s Change includes embracing the Creative Commons

While Obama’s policies were very much pro-Net Neutrality and open access during the campaign, it has taken a little while to see these policies in action (although, to be fair, he’s not actually President yet).  Today, though, an important step: Obama’s transition website, change.gov is now licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license, meaning the information can be shared, reused and repurposed by pretty much anyone, as long as they note where the information came from.  Here’s a capture of the website’s copyright notice



Admittedly there was some confusion because all official federal government websites in the US are supposedly in the public domain, but is a president-elect bound by these rules?  The answer seems ambiguous, but the CC BY license, apart from requiring attribution, is pretty much as good as the public domain anyway.  Creative Commons heavyweights Lawrence Lessig, Joi Ito and Cory Doctorow have all expressed their delight at seeing Obama’s transition online presence sporting a CC license.  I’m delighted, too, and can’t help but think that it would be marvellous to see more of Australia’s government websites and documents under Creative Commons licenses, too! And since Kevin Rudd has styled his own online presence on Obama’s, perhaps his information sharing policies could follow suit rather than being misdirected by this ridiculous internet filtering regime.

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