Yesterday, the United Kingdom made an announcement that radically reformed how it will manage what will become the government’s most important asset in the 21st century: knowledge & information.
On the National Archives website, the UK Government made public its new license for managing software, documents and data created by the government. The document is both far reaching and forward looking. Indeed, I believe this policy may be the boldest and most progressive step taken by a government since the United States decided that documents created by the US government would directly enter the public domain and not be copyrighted.
In almost every aspect the license, the UK government will manage its “intellectual property” by setting the default to be open and free.
That should read “in most of the UK” because there will be separate discussions held by the devolved departments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
I’m happy to say that here in Northern Ireland we not only have some progressive thinkers in terms of the data but also in terms of government procurement of solutions taking advantage of that data.
Our local open data initiatives have been spearheaded by individuals in the DFP and DETI and Code4Pizza is the social working group taking advantage of the data.