The Open Knowledge Foundation Newsletter, February 2014

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Greetings!

One month into 2014, there’s plenty going on around the Open Knowledge Foundation, including lots of activity for Copyright Week mid-January as well as preparation for Open Data Day towards the end of February.

As ever, the global Open Knowledge Foundation network has been busy, including Bangladesh supporting the regional Math Olympiad, Nepal celbrating Education Freedom Day, and Scotland collaborating with other organisations to create Datafest Scotland 2014 – see for yourself what the various communities have been up to at the Community Stories Tumblr, and do add your own stories!

So here’s your monthly digest: grab a cuppa, put your feet up and settle back for a coffee-break celebration of all things Open.

Open Knowledge Foundation Germany rejects cease and desist order in the cause of Open

fragdenstaat
Say you use the Freedom Of Information (FOI) process to access some information. You decide to use FragDenStaat.de, an FOI portal, as it will publish the results, which makes sense as anyone else could access this if they also submitted an FOI. You wouldn’t expect to be prohibited from publishing the requested information freely, and certainly not because of copyright, a tool created to defend the creative works of artists and authors for their own livelihood… Right? Wrong!

A cease and desist order has been issued to Open Knowledge Foundation Germany, the of FragDenStaat.de, for publishing a document received under the German federal FOI law. The German Federal Ministry of the Interior claims copyright as the reason for this order, and FragDenStaat.de is refusing to comply, standing “against this blatant misuse of copyright” and “looking forward to a court decision that will strengthen freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of information rights in Germany” (in the words of Stefan Wehrmeyer in his blog post).

Want to help?

  • Help support the court case by donating at BetterPlace.org or through you bank (using these details – Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland e.V /IBAN: DE89830944950003009670 /BIC: GENO DE F1 ETK)
  • Tell the EU to fix copyright (see article mentioned below for more details on this public consultation)

For full information refer to the campaign site.

Open Copyright Week 2014

New Licenses approved as Open

Copyright Infringement

Big news preceeding Copyright Week was that Creative Commons 4.0 BY and BY-SA licenses were approved conformant with the Open Definition. The Open Definition, one of the first projects of the Open Knowledge Foundation, is the reference-point for understanding what Open is and how you can determine whether something is Open or not. Being able to release data and information openly is one of the most important steps in making Open the norm – thanks, Creative Commons!

Want to have your say in what licenses are needed and should be reviewed and approved? Join the Open Definition Discuss email list.

Fix EU Copyright!

This was the cry during Copyright Week, encouraging input to the public consultation on the review of the EU copyright rules. Creativity for Copyright and volunteer coders put together an online version of the paper document (attention EU: bringing us right into the 21st Century, only 14 years in) at http://youcan.fixcopyright.eu/ to create a multilingual form for easy submission. You still have a few days to contribute (deadline is 5th Feb) so if you haven’t done so already, get your opinion heard.

For more background on copyright and Open Access, have a read of this article by the Open Access Working Group, and the work on Public Domain Calculators by the Public Domain and OpenGLAM Working Groups along with OKF-France.

Who is the Open Spending Data Community?

This question was answered through an in-depth mapping project, investigating how citizens, journalists, and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) around the world use government finance data to further their civic missions. The results – well, we won’t give spoilers here, you’ll just have to read for yourself and see if you feature!

To set the scene, check out this video series, “Athens to Berlin”, in which various members of CSOs reflect on their work in this area and look ahead to future opportunities.

Coming Up:

Open Data Day is coming… In preparation for February 22nd’s big event, the cry to participate went up, spearheaded by the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Events Manager, Beatrice Martini. The Hangout, held on the 21st January, was hosted by Beatrice, Heather Leson and the founder of Open Data Day, David Eaves. This gave the history of the event, tips and advice on planning events (following up on this article from December), and a Q&A session. Sorry you missed it? Join the mailing list to know more and get planning. Already planning? Add your event to the website.

Watch this space for news about the one-and-only OKFestival, coming very soon!

Copyright infringement cartoon by Hartboy