Juggling information policy, rights to information and copyright licensing to enhance the accessibility and reusability of spatial data : the Australian experience
Fitzgerald, Anne M. (2012) Juggling information policy, rights to information and copyright licensing to enhance the accessibility and reusability of spatial data : the Australian experience. In Janssen, Katleen & Crompvoets, Joep (Eds.) Geographic Data and the Law : Defining New Challenges. Leuven University Press, Leuven, Belgium.
There is still no comprehensive information strategy governing access to and reuse of public sector information, applying on a nationwide basis, across all levels of government – local, state and federal - in Australia. This is the case both for public sector materials generally and for spatial data in particular. Nevertheless, the last five years have seen some significant developments in information policy and practice, the result of which has been a considerable lessening of the barriers that previously acted to impede the accessibility and reusability of a great deal of spatial and other material held by public sector agencies. Much of the impetus for change has come from the spatial community which has for many years been a proponent of the view “that government held information, and in particular spatial information, will play an absolutely critical role in increasing the innovative capacity of this nation.”1 However, the potential of government spatial data to contribute to innovation will remain unfulfilled without reform of policies on access and reuse as well as the pervasive practices of public sector data custodians who have relied on government copyright to justify the imposition of restrictive conditions on its use.
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