December 2, 2008 · Lessig
As I indicated yesterday, I was very encouraged by the decision by the Obama transition team to freely license change.gov (not actually a .gov entity, so not exempt from the rights of copyright).
You can read the rationale for the principles at open-government.us. Put briefly, the three principles are:
1. No Legal Barrier to Sharing (law (copyright law) should not block sharing);
2. No Technological Barrier to Sharing (code (limitations on downloads, for example) should not block sharing;
3. Free competition (no alliances should favor one commercial entity over another, or commercial over noncommercial entities).
Some have framed these as “demands” made of the administration. That’s like saying the mouse can make demands of the lion. We’re not making demands; we’re describing good policy. Or at least, good policy as we see it.