US: Government Documents will be free

While government sometimes has a reputation for not being able to do anything right, there’s one thing it has proven supremely good at over the years: generating mountains of official documents. The Internet Archive, http://Public.Resource.Org, and the Boston Public Library today announced a plan to scan more than 60 million pages of these government documents over the next two years, with plans to make them freely available in perpetuity.

Note that such documents are in the Public Domain in the US!

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Open Government Data Principles

Government data shall be considered open if it is made public in a way that complies with the principles below:

1. Complete
All public data is made available. Public data is data that is not subject to valid privacy, security or privilege limitations.

2. Primary
Data is as collected at the source, with the highest possible level of granularity, not in aggregate or modified forms.

3. Timely
Data is made available as quickly as necessary to preserve the value of the data.

4. Accessible
Data is available to the widest range of users for the widest range of purposes.

5. Machine processable
Data is reasonably structured to allow automated processing.

6. Non-discriminatory
Data is available to anyone, with no requirement of registration.

7. Non-proprietary
Data is available in a format over which no entity has exclusive control.

8. License-free
Data is not subject to any copyright, patent, trademark or trade secret regulation. Reasonable privacy, security and privilege restrictions may be allowed.

Compliance must be reviewable.
1. “public” means:

The Open Government Data principles do not address what data should be public and open. Privacy, security, and other concerns may legally (and rightly) prevent data sets from being shared with the public. Rather, these principles specify the conditions public data should meet to be considered “open.”
2. “data” means:

Electronically stored information or recordings. Examples include documents, databases of contracts, transcripts of hearings, and audio/visual recordings of events.

While non-electronic information resources, such as physical artifacts, are not subject to the Open Government Data principles, it is always encouraged that such resources be made available electronically to the extent feasible.
3. “reviewable” means:

A contact person must be designated to respond to people trying to use the data.

A contact person must be designated to respond to complaints about violations of the principles.

An administrative or judicial court must have the jurisdiction to review whether the agency has applied these principles appropriately.

Autor: Klaus Graf

Historiker und Archivar, Blogger

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