Creative commons in U.S. Government

I am a big advocate of creative commons. I think it makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons. One arena I have been watching the growing use of Creative Commons licenses is in the U.S. Government. I am particularly interested in the issue of over licensing. That is, my understanding is that the Federal government can not be a copyright holder unless someone else created the work and then gave the work to the US Government, and that items (creative works and intellectual property) created by the government can not be copyrighted, such content is by law supposed to be in the public domain. Therefore, when a government (in this case the U.S. Government) produces content and licenses the content under creative commons, doesn't that mean that they must copyright the material and then release the material under license? The following website talks about data - government data, and how that is legally supposed to be open. https://theunitedstates.io/licensing/. (And Ben Balter gives some really clear suggestions here: http://ben.balter.com/2014/10/08/open-source-licensing-for-government-attorneys/.) There are certain rights reserved, like the use of logos. In short I am a bit confused then by moves in the Department of Labor and the Department of Education where the CC-BY license is adapted:

Is this just saying that if I create something with money from the Federal Government then that work needs to also be CC-BY?

The Creative Commons wiki currently says about the US Government:

Federal

Works by the US federal government are automatically part of the public domain in the US as stipulated by http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#105
Third-party content (such as the text of speeches by the first lady) on the White House web site are licensed with CC BY 3.0 US by default.
President-Elect Transition Team, Barack Obama and Joseph Biden. CC BY 3.0 Unported. (Not an official federal government site, but an election team site, hence not required to be public domain.)
The U.S. Department of Education has made OER an invitational priority in their Ready to Learn (PDF) and Ready to Teach (PDF) grants.
The U.S. Department of Education has included open educational resources in their Notice of Proposed Priorities for discretionary grant funding. Essentially, if the priorities are adopted, it could mean that grant seekers who include open educational resources as a component of an application for funding from the Department of Education could receive priority.
The U.S. Department of Labor and Department of Education commit $2 billion to community colleges and career training; CC BY required for grant outputs.
The U.S. Department of Labor Career Pathways Innovation Fund Grants Program; CC BY required for grant outputs.
U.S. Open Data Action plan is under CC0 + some federal datasets: report (pdf); blog post

State

New York State Senate, Senate Content, CC-BY-NC-ND with CC+ allowing non-political fundraising use of content.
State of Virginia, legislation that indicates a preference for state-funded materials to be released with a CC (or equivalent open) license.
Washington State open policy and requirement of CC BY
New Hampshire adopts Open Source and Open Data requirements (policy friendly to CC use, but not a specific CC tool adoption)
OER K-12 bill passed in WA state. The focus of the bill is to help school districts identify existing high-quality, free, openly licensed, common core state standards aligned resources available for local adoption; in addition, any content built with public funds, must be licensed under “an attribution license” (CC BY)
The city of Washington, D.C. has made available an unofficial copy of the DC Code under the CC0 Public Domain Dedication.

So, as a business person looking at the limitations of CC-BY and the DMCA. If I were a grant recipient from the department of labor, and I wanted to profit from the output of the grant, I could make all the output CC-By and then release that content via an app that I sell. Make the app with funds not from the grant and make the content only available via the app. Hacking the app would constitute Copyright infringement and would be enforceable via the DMCA.

Creative Commons does not solve the open access and permanent access guarantee problems.

Notes on using there WordPress for iOS app

Five short things:

  1. In landscape view on iPhone 5s it is hard to type. This is because the viewable area for typing is so small. Voice to text recognition is easier. But then editing mistakes becomes a pain. 
  2. It is really hard to get the loupe tool in the text mode. So it’s hard to move the cursor.
  3. When switching between horizontal and vertical modes the cursor always goes to the top of the article instead of staying where the author was editing at in the document. This is extremely annoying.
  4. Sometimes when I press the return button I get multiple returns between words it’s as if the WordPress app inserts extra non-visible characters which create new lines.
  5. There is no way to share a post with someone. There does not seem to be a button inside the interface of the app to text the link to someone or to post to Facebook or tweet a link or email link.

Which license and why?

It occurs to me that every time a new license is produced it is done as a response to a social context. That is, society has delivered a certain set of norms or reactions to existing ownership and licensing practices. It also occurs to me that with each new license created that there is an increased availability of licensing options to potential license users. Inherently this means that any given license should be expected to be used less with the release of a new licenses. I wonder if there is a way to plot the use of licenses, and the growth rate of new licenses.

Images in the Free Culture Movement

I have been really encouraged by the availability of images which have been released under Creative Commons licenses.

While there are a lot of icon sets out there, here are some of my "go to" places.

  • The first place I usually go for free icons isthenounproject.com. There is a growing community behind the endeavor and their management operations are being taken seriously.
  • A second place which I have found helpful is: mapicons.nicolasmollet.com.
  • I have also found these images which are SVG for maps: http://map-icons.com/

As an archivist, I wonder where will these icons go if they are just privately hosted? - Is there an archive for these things?

Business Intelligence

I was reading this article Buckle Up: Apple’s Next 3 Years Will Be Insane by Mike Elgan 2:49 pm PDT, Nov 9th 2013, On Cultofmac.com about Apple's business practices.

It reminds me, that regardless of which business we are in, we need to understand the problem space in which we are trying to make a difference. We could think about interactions through the eyes of web design and ask questions like, where are people having difficulties or where are they having less than satisfying experiences? We can ask these sorts of questions in a variety of business endeavors/markets on levels like scripture engagement and our experiences surrounding scripture engagement. We could ask the same type of question about academic and language-based materials. At all levels of inquiry and service delivery, an organization with strategic goals still needs to know: what the market is, and what the market member's pain points are. Additionally an organization needs to have the freedom creatively alleviate those pain points. Just because we can do something doesn't mean it's the right time to do something. Knowing when and how is still very important. By thinking strategically, one can make sure that the tools are in place to respond at the next opportunity. Acting strategically is carrying through with what was planned when the opportunity comes.

Initial thoughts on Google Drive

So I have two computers I work with regularly to accomplish certain tasks. The organization I work with/for recently decided to go with google services. including Google Drive. I had been previously using DropBox and thought that because we were making a corporate switch that it would be good form to move work related materials from the DropBox account to the office Google Drive account - leaving me more space for my personal content in the DropBox account.

Currently I can not get my computers to sync. This is a problem. I quit the client and restarted it and the documents synced.

One other annoying feature is the advertisements. If there is one thing that Google does do is advertise. I have downloaded and registered two computers with my Google Drive account, so one would think that Google and all their information sharing capacity built into their terms of service would already know that I know about the local client for Mac but evidently not.

Google does advertise

Google does advertise