Change.gov


Obama’s Site Should Be Public Domain

Obama's Creative Commons LicenseBy law, all works of the United States government are public domain unless classified or contracted. That’s why I find it odd that President-Elect Barack Obama’s transition site, Change.gov, would adopt a Creative Commons license. I’m a huge fan of the freedom offered by the Commons, but a Creative Commons license is still more restrictive than a public domain dedication. Change.gov bears the top level domain of a government office, but not the copyright policy.

I’m as big an Obama fan as the next guy, but this is really making me scratch my head here. Even if Change.gov were created by a government contractor, and thus subject to copyright, a restrictive license is simply inconsistent with Obama’s platform of transparent governance.

It’s not like anyone will steal Obama’s content and pretend to be the next leader of the free world. The Obama transition team should just put Change.gov under a public domain dedication and be done with any copyright headaches.