Change.gov and Open-Government.us: an open Web 2.0 approach to the Obama transition

A new website, Open-Government.us, proposes three “open transition” principles for President-elect Obama’s transition to the office of the President.  The site, set up by Lawrence Lessig and others, notes the importance of openness and accessibility for the transition process.  For example, although Obama’s Change.gov transition site is generally subject to a Creative Commons license, his videos are made available through his Transition Project YouTube account.  In turn, YouTube is a proprietary site that does not permit downloading of user content.  As noted in the principles, open government requires that citizens be able to copy, remix, and excerpt such materials unfettered from undue proprietary or format restraints.

Here’s a short explanatory video from http://open-government.us/:

Below the break is text with the three principles, also from http://open-government.us/:

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Microsoft and Creative Commons

Brett Frischmann reports at Madisonian.net that Creative Commons and Microsoft are releasing a copyright licensing tool to enable the “easy addition of Creative Commons licensing information for works in popular Microsoft® Office applications.” That’s great news and a big development — the ease of inserting a license should get the public thinking more about the benefits of clarity in copyright law, and encourage broader licensing of many works, such as currently occurs widely at Flickr.com.

Michael Carroll reports at Carrollogos that the plugin for Word, PowerPoint, and Excel applications is now available here. Hopefully this tool will be included as a standard part of the upcoming release of Office 2007.