Date: 2009-08-27 20:47:00
Tags: nz, copyright
new zealand government goes creative commons

This looks like a fantastic step forward: New Zealand Government Open Access and Licensing Framework

The draft NZGOAL sets out a series of policy principles which embrace, among other things, the notions of open access, open licensing, creativity, authenticity, non-discrimination and open formats.
So far as copyright works are concerned, NZGOAL proposes that agencies apply the most liberal of the New Zealand Creative Commons law licences to those of their copyright works that are appropriate for release, unless there is a restriction which would prevent this.

New Zealand inherited from the British Government the idea of Crown copyright, which essentially says that by default, the government retains copyright to all works produced by the government. The United States is actually pretty far ahead in this area since there is no equivalent to Crown copyright and most works are freely available to the people (see Most other governments aren't so enlightened.

This new framework would allow New Zealand government agencies to license their work under the Creative Commons licenses—even the most liberal Attribution (BY) license. I don't think this replaces the Crown copyright, but instead allows agents to "dual-license" their work.

This can only be a good thing. (Our current government doesn't exactly have a great track record on doing the right thing these days. I have more to write about that later.)

Greg Hewgill <>