This afternoon the Economic Development and Infrastructure Committee of the Victorian Government handed down the final report of its Inquiry into Improving Access to Victorian Public Sector Information and Data. And it’s great news for CC – not only does the Committee recommend that Victorian public agencies adopt a uniform licensing system, they recommend that CC be used as the default licences for that system.
The report is particularly timely for the Victorian government. The bushfires disaster earlier this year revealed how closed and outdated government information management policies can be a real barrier to coordination and response in a national emergency.
The recommendation doesn’t mean, of course, that everything from the Victorian government would necessarily be released under CC. There are always going to be materials that are more appropriate for more closed copyright models for privacy, public safety and commercial reasons. But the Committee does endorse evidence (provided by the GILF project) that 85% of government documents would be appropriate for CC licensing.
We haven’t finished reading the report yet, so we can give you a full rundown. But here are the relevant recommendations:
* Recommendation 11: That the Victorian Government develop a consistent copyright licensing system for use across all government
* Recommendation 14: That the Victorian Government adopt the Creative Commons licensing model as the default licensing system for the Information Management Framework.
* Recommendation 15: That the Victorian Government adopt a hybrid public sector information licensing model comprising Creative Commons and a tailored suite of licences for restricted materials.
If Victoria implements these recommendations, they’ll be in good company: President Obama, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation all already use CC licences for their material. Hopefully the Federal Government’s new Web 2.0 Taskforce will sit up and take notice of the Victorian report.