Austria adopted Creative Commons License as default
The city governments for Vienna, Linz, Salzburg, and Graz made a joint announcement this past week that they, along with the Chancellor’s office (the executive branch of the Austrian gov’t), had decidedto use a CC-BY license as default for all government documents.
Basically this is an explicit acknowledgement that anyone can use the documents how they wish – just so long as they credit the source. Really, that’s how it should work for government documents.
This decision to use a CC license grew out of the concept of OGD, Open Government Data. These municipalities have also just established the “Cooperation OGD Austria” – a new alliance bringing together governments on all levels to forge common standards and develop conditions in which OGD can flourish to the benefit of all stakeholders. OKF Austria will be acting as the advisory member to the new group.
The US actually has a similar idea written into law. The federal government is denied copyrights on documents it produces (there are exceptions). Curiously enough, that little bit of copyright law is not in the US Constitution. It’s only a law, which means it could be repealed or overturned (we have a nutty Supreme Court right now).