Free Public Information Brochure

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This is a translation page for File:Fri offentlig information.pdf.

PUBLIC INFORMATION

“A government of the people, by the people, for the people,” – ABRAHAM LINCOLN

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?[edit]

It is not obvious that produced public means are readily available to all citizens today. Moreover, people in some situations may pay for access. That means that they pay once more. We think this is unreasonable and should be changed as soon as possible.

Today it costs something to take advantage of maps from the National Land Survey. Would these be free and freely available, could be used on Wikipedia, and to enable new innovations. These innovations could for example be free apps to mobile phones where contractors and others could build on the information which the National Land Survey has access to.

A similar problem is that the National Land Survey and other authorities claim catalog protection, which lasts for 15 years, automatically renewed as soon as the database is updated with some information. That would mean that dynamic databases never become available. This despite the fact that the majority of information in the database not have been updated in 15 years! If this interpretation is upheld, it means that many (if not most) public data will never be opened up, all the "infinity" is protected by copyright which prevents further use.

Many authorities, municipalities and other public organizations do not compile in the current situation their data in a structured and machine-readable manner and clearer guidelines and the access to resources is necessary to change this. Open data is central to Swedish growth!

POSSIBILITIES?[edit]

That information is freely available makes it possible for researchers, students, journalists and the general public around the world to take part of the material without economic or practical obstacles. To keep up with what is produced for public means is important and it is in many people's interests that the material is spread. The question, however, is greater than that.

The benefits are numerous:

We, the interested public can take part in the research that we've been with and paid for. By sharing our knowledge with each other, we can ensure that all people have equal access to information, education and knowledge.

It also allows the creation of applications and the use of a third party. The advantage is the increased use of the material and the promotion of further processing. This applies to both individuals and business people directly, but there are also a lot of material that could improve Wikipedia and make everyone's favorite encyclopaedia even better and more credible. The ways that this type of information can be used is endless, and we believe that the next Google could be developed in Sweden. We want to help make this possible.

"Information is the currency of democracy". –Thomas Jefferson.

"The Many Minds Principle: the coolest thing to do with your data will be thought of by someone else." –Jo Walsh

GOOD EXAMPLES[edit]

In several other countries, the data has already been opened up and the benefits of this are many. An excellent example of this is the Open Data Challenge, held in Europe in 2011, where participants received entries with applications based on the open data that is available within the EU. One of the winning entries was Live London Underground Tube Map where all the underground trains in London show their location in real time. An independent study has shown that this application has saved the Londoners 58 million pounds.

In 2011, New York announced an application contest based on the city's open data. During the contest developed 96 applications. E-services spans over several areas, including the planning of cycle routes, report the problem in the public environment, support for families to find playgrounds, location of the nearest library and much more.

A nearer example is the page bestofsvt.se, a service that creates a top ten list of the most popular programs on national television.

THE WAY FORWARD[edit]

There are several ways to go; one of the simplest is that authorities requires that materials they purchase are produced under free license. Without changing a single law, man has ensured that the material can be reused.

You can also make small adjustments in the copyright law, in order to for example, pictures and maps produced is copyright free. The Copyright Law contains an exemption for regulations, opinions, decisions, and some translations which means they can be used freely. But there is an exception to that exception, and that is among pictures and maps. Since these are often part of the document, it will be difficult to spread the word in its entirety. But the solution is not difficult, just by deleting the exceptions to the exceptions in the second paragraph of § 9 URL 1960:729, so the whole thing becomes immediately very simple.

It may also require that research funded by public money becomes freely available. It would make it easier for innovators, educational institutions and others to build on information and knowledge that has been created by public means. This has happened in other countries and we are confident that this would also happen in Sweden.

ROLE MODELS[edit]

In the U.S., the Obama administration launched project data.gov where one can find data from different authorities. Many of these authorities have also made it possible to utilize the information directly. In addition to the data we ourselves have also developed tools that use the database to increase transparency in public administration. An example of this is the Federal IT Dashboard that shows how parts of the public sector consumes resources within the IT field.

In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued a directive to the city authorities that they must share public data on its open data platform. "With more data being available to residents and developers in Chicago, we can easily get past difficult administrative and technological barriers and thus find solutions to the city's most complex problems," Brett Goldstein, Chicago's Chief Data Officer and Commissioner of the Department of Innovation and Technology.

Wikimedia Sverige
Box 500
101 29 Stockholm

info(_AT_)wikimedia.se
wikimedia.se

Wikimedia Sweden is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to make knowledge freely available to all people, especially by supporting the Wikimedia Foundation (Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, Wikiversity, Wiktionary, etc.).

The association works to spread knowledge about these projects, enhance its content, promote the use of them, as well as support for projects essential technology. Free knowledge means information that is permitted to be copied, reproduced and disseminated, including for commercial purposes, without charge or other restriction than attribution.

License, images and text: CC-BY-SA-3.0