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Re: Defining "Open" Data (was RE: no F2F3 in 2009 -- Re: Agenda, eGov IG Call, 11 Nov 2009)

From: Brian Gryth <briangryth@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 2009 13:04:07 -0700
Message-ID: <894ba28d0911121204k12acf9b5ie88d2db987c852db@mail.gmail.com>
To: Jonathan Gray <jonathan.gray@okfn.org>, eGovIG IG <public-egov-ig@w3.org>
Cc: "Emmanouil Batsis (Manos)" <manos@abiss.gr>, Todd Vincent <todd.vincent@xmllegal.org>, Niklas Lindström <lindstream@gmail.com>, "prof. dr. Tom M. van Engers" <vanengers@uva.nl>, peter.krantz@gmail.com, david osimo <david.osimo@gmail.com>, Jose Manuel Alonso <josema.alonso@fundacionctic.org>, washingtona@acm.org
>From this discussion, it appears that there are three basic issues:

1) Access (i.e. whether there is a cost related to getting the data)
2) Rights (i.e. copyright and other legal obligations or privileges)
3) Format/medium (i.e. electronic human-readable, electronic
machine-readable, or paper)

The open knowledge definition is a good framework and maybe sufficient.  A
lot of smart people have contributed to the definition and associated
licenses produced by the Open Knowledge Foundations.

As Manos and Anne pointed out, it is extremely important that we not ignore
human-readable content by focus solely on machine-readable content.  Of
course, I think the powers that be often ignore the later.  We need to
strike a balance and press that open government data needs to be accessible
in multiple formats.  It needs to be accessible to the general public in a
human readable format and it needs to be accessible to developers in a
machine readable format.  Linked data, from my limited understanding, is
best method to strike the format balance.

One point on costs or fees, sometimes government agencies are required to
charge fees for records (i.e. data, documents, and etc.).  For instance, my
agency is required under Colorado Revised Statutes section 24-21-104 to
collect fees to cover the expenses incurred by the agency.  See
http://legislink.org/us-co?CRS-24-21-104.  Therefore, fees are sometimes
unavoidable because of legal barriers.  However, if this group can produce
work product that makes the case that the cost of making data available is
near zero then fees may become difficult to justify.  Especially, if other
public policy benefits can be expressed and illustrated.

Thanks,
Brian

On Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 10:43 AM, Jonathan Gray <jonathan.gray@okfn.org>wrote:

> The Open Knowledge Definition aims to give a definition of the 'open'
> in 'open data':
>
>  http://opendefinition.org/
>
> Functionally, it is a bit like the definitions for Free/Open Source
> software - providing criteria for determining which licenses, legal
> tools and terms and conditions make the material they are applied to
> 'open'. It covers everything from the UK Click Use PSI License to some
> (but not all) of the Creative Commons licenses.
>
> Is this of interest?
>
> --
> Jonathan Gray
>
> Community Coordinator
> The Open Knowledge Foundation
> http://www.okfn.org
>
>
> On Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 5:27 PM, Emmanouil Batsis (Manos)
> <manos@abiss.gr> wrote:
> > Todd Vincent wrote:
> >>
> >> This is an interesting topic.
> >
> > Very true, but not all possible aspects are within scope here.
> >
> > As a citizen, I'm certainly interested in social and practical openness,
> >  meaning information accessible by all and for any possible use when
> talking
> > about government data. Tech-wise though, we mostly mean easy to use in
> the
> > context of heterogeneous systems etc.
> >
> > Of course, I'm sure many would be interested in ways "open" in the
> technical
> > sense may be directed in such a way as to produce social (side?) effects.
> >
> > Oh well.
> > --
> > Manos Batsis, Chief Technologist
> >         __    _
> >  ____ _/ /_  (_)_________ ____ ______
> >  / __ `/ __ \/ / ___/ ___// __ `/ ___/
> > / /_/ / /_/ / (__  |__  )/ /_/ / /
> > \__,_/_.___/_/____/____(_)__, /_/
> >                        /____/
> > http://www.Abiss.gr <http://www.abiss.gr/>
> > 19, Kalvou Street,
> > 14231, Nea Ionia,
> > Athens, Greece
> >
> > Tel: +30 211-1027-900
> > Fax: +30 211-1027-999
> >
> >
> >
>
>


-- 
Brian Peltola Gryth
715 Logan street
Denver, CO 80203
303-748-5447
twitter.com/briangryth
Received on Thursday, 12 November 2009 20:04:42 GMT

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