[GSDI Legal Econ] "Commodification of Information"
klance_remote at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 2 09:05:50 EDT 2005
papers from a 2004 law workshop on "Commodification of
Information" that should be of interest to people on this list
Law and Economics of the Public Domain
Fundamental Rights Aspects of the Public Domain
Traditional Knowledge and Culture
Privacy and Data Protection
Standard Form Contracts
Open Source Initiative
The commercialization of public sector information. Delineating the issues.
The past decades have witnessed an increasingly market-oriented approach to the production and dissemination of public sector information. It has led to concern on the part of the private sector about unfair competition. It triggers fear about the accessibility of data, both in terms of availability and affordability. Freedom of information campaigners worry about the impact on the access rights which serve democratic accountability. The so-called commercialization of government information thus raises a variety of concerns. In order to be able to asses the validity of these concerns, and of regulatory means to address them, it is necessary to first describe which models of production and distribution make up this commercialization. The focus will be on the situation in the EU, notably the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, which exemplify different commercialization policies. These national policies, as well as the principles enshrined in the 2003 EU Directive on re-use of
public sector information will be compared with US federal policy on access to and exploitation of public sector information. In the EU, the policy of the US tends to be seen as favourable to the public domain. To conclude some suggestions are made as regards means to prevent or correct negative consequences of commercialization.
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