PDGov - Argumentation
This page defines our argumentation in support of the Public Domain for Public Works demand.
In one sentence
Works created by the government or its institutions (European, national, local) should not be subject to copyright restrictions.
What exactly are we demanding?
Currently existing exceptions and limitations that cover the public domain status of certain government works should be emulated or expanded to cover all publicly funded content (on the European, national and local levels).
Main arguments in bullet points
- Copyright is meant as an incentive for creativity. This incentive is not required for government action
- The creation of this work has already been paid for by the public
- Copyright on government works is routinely abused to prevent the public from discussing official documents
When we need to interest someone for our issue quickly, what do we say?
Governments create magnificent works that are useful beyond the walls of their administrative offices. As of today, European copyright largely prevents this re-use from happening. Rather than fixing some of the symptoms with licenses, we should acknowledge the fact copyright is the wrong tool for these texts, images and files and should play no role here.
How to best briefly describe the issue and promote our solution?
- Start with the a/b comparison of NASA and ESA space exploration and earth observation activity
- PD content is not created for artistic reasons but mandated by law.
- Hence, there cannot be any kind of incentive for this content by copyright
- Copyright for PD content can only be used to restrict usage at the convenience of the government
- As a matter of fact, there is a solid track record of no income at all for government works, even when this argument is invoked all the time
- Open Government Data projects that focus on the usage of free licenses are laudable but fail to address the fundamental problem with assigning copyright in the first place.