[Open-Legislation] Updated the working group page

JOSEFSSON Erik erik.josefsson at europarl.europa.eu
Mon Apr 30 11:31:40 UTC 2012

On 04/29/2012 10:48 PM, Rufus Pollock wrote:
> Hi All,
> I've just tidied up the Working Group's current home page:
> <http://wiki.okfn.org/Working_Groups/Legislation>


> In particular I've added a revised Purpose sectoin based on an irc
> chat with Friedrich a few weeks. It now reads:
> 1. Define the area of Open Legislation - what it means and what it involves

Your formulation is very good, and I think "collaborative work on legal
documents" should definitely be within the scope.

If we manage to licence at4am under AGPLv3+ and scrape (or otherwise
export) complete EP datasets, then we could build a perfect clone on the
internet, which in effect would be a "Parallel Parliament" where the
debate on amendments and justifications could be long-tailed far beyond
the Brussels Bubble.

What I think we thought was self evident as activists back in 2003 when
we distributed voting lists (FFII clones of the VL's that the Tabling
Office and Group Staff produced) to MEPs outside Plenary and via email,
was not at all self evident to the managers of the decision making
process in the EP.

We were really just delivering the right information in the right time
in the right format to the right people. Normally that's a service
provided by the lobby industry and not civil society.

If you are an MEP (or a trusted Group Staffer), the difference between
cut'n pasting an amendment from i.e. BSA that you have received in an
email (right information in the right time in the right format to the
right people...) and doing the same from an on-line application that
looks the same as the one you are pasting the amendment into is not that
big in terms of effort. But huge in terms of pretty much everything else.

Also, since the cash-for-amendments scandal
I think the number of MEPs who still prefer to sell their services in
bars around Place Luxembourg rather than from home over a TS session is
close to zero, while the work-from-home MEPs are probably growing in
numbers (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/portalep/tsmain.html).

> 2. Act as a central point of reference and support for people who are
> interested in open legislation


> 3. Identify practices of early adopters, collecting data and developing guides.

I would push for EPFSUG here. The user group has been involved in
ParlTrack and Pippi Longstrings in various ways and could potentially be
tapped on info on how "at4am+parltrack applications" should look like to
make sense and properly reflect the work inside the EP.

> 4. Act as a hub for the development of low cost, community driven
> projects related to open legislation

I have a feeling things are moving a bit behind the scenes on these
matters so I'd like to push for AGPLv3+ licensed projects as early as
possible. It would be a pity if a successful project suddenly gets an EU
grant but with an EUPL licensing condition attached (unless the EUPL
Appendix is amended to include AGPLv3+).

> What do people think?



Erik Josefsson
Advisor on Internet Policies
Greens/EFA Group
GSM: +32484082063
BXL: PHS 04C075 TEL: +3222832667
SBG: WIC M03005 TEL: +33388173776
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