Today sees the release of the draft report from the Government 2.0 Taskforce for public comment.

Those who have been following our posts will remember that the Taskforce was launched in June by the Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Lindsay Tanner MP to advise the government on “increasing the openness of government through making public sector information more widely available to promote transparency, innovation and value adding to government information” and “encouraging online engagement with the aim of drawing in the information, knowledge, perspectives, resources and even, where possible, the active collaboration of anyone wishing to contribute to public life.” Since then the Taskforce has undertaken an impressive number of initiatives is a very short amount of time, from their national consultation roadshow to the amazingly successful Mashup Australia competition.

Headed up by well know economist and commons expert Dr Nick Gruen, other members include a number of familiar names for the CC community – Assistant Secretary for the Digital Economy Branch at the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and former General Counsel for Creative Commons International Mia Garlick; Head of Digital, Social and Emerging Technologies at the Powerhouse Museum Seb Chan; and our own Creative Commons Australia lead, Professor Brian Fitzgerald.

The draft report includes a number of recommendations relating to Creative Commons – in fact, it’s mentioned 67 times. The most significant CC reference is probably the Taskforce’s recommendation on extending opportunities for the reuse of government information, which is summarised (at p.xii) as follows:

By default public sector information (PSI) should be made available on the following terms:

  • Consistent with the need for free and open re-use and adaptation, PSI released should be licensed under the Creative Commons BY standard;
  • Where ownership does not rest with the Commonwealth, or is shared with other parties, agencies should seek to ensure its release under Creative Commons BY;
  • From June 2011 all agencies that enter into new agreements with third parties should ensure publication under a Creative Commons BY licence;
  • Copyright policy should be amended such that if published or unpublished works are covered by Crown copyright, the works should automatically be re-licensed under a Creative Commons BY licence at the time at which Commonwealth records become available for public access under the Archives Act 1983.

Comments on the draft report are due by 16 December (ie next Wednesday). As an interesting aside, they’ve set up an excellent consultation page, with the ability for people to comment on each paragraph in an open platform. Making it all the more easy to have your say.