[open-humanities] [Open-humanities] mapping publicly funded content and data in the UK for a petition for open licensing

John Cummings John.Cummings at wikimedia.org.uk
Wed Dec 3 12:35:01 UTC 2014

Hi All

I met the staff at 38 Degrees a couple of months ago to talk about online
communities. One thing that came up that was surprising to them was that
government funded works in the UK are not in general available under an
open license, it got me thinking, why hasn’t it happened yet?

A stand out factor for me is that while the public good of open licensing
can be at least in part demonstrated, the general public's awareness and
want for open license for publicly funded content has not been quantified.
This could lead to the government seeing open licensing as a niche topic
pushed by special interest groups, not seen as a “vote winner”.

I’m exploring the idea of starting a 38 Degrees campaign with both a public
petition and endorsement by organisations to ask the government to mandate
open licenses for publicly funded content and data. Something like:

Publicly funded work to be reusable and shareable by the public:


   Content to be released under a OGL/CC-BY license or CC0.


   Data to be released under CC0

One thing that would be immensely useful is to understand what content and
data would be made available if this were to be enacted. Does anyone know
of any way to find out this information?

A similar project was attempted in Poland but it was challenged by the
creative sector who saw it as an attempt to steal creators rights, any
suggestions on how to add a caveat to avoid this would be greatly

I've started a proposal here for anyone interested in reading it, any
comments or information would be greatly appreciated. If you'd like to
share this with other lists please do.

Many thanks

*John Cummings - **Wikimedia UK volunteer*
tweet @mrjohnc

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