After open data advocates pointed out how ridiculous it is that private companies have a copyright on the only publicly-available versions of D.C.’s laws, D.C. Council General Counsel David Zvenyach helped make a public domain version and posted it online.
Tom MacWright explained the problemlast month. D.C., like many governments, contracts with a company (in this case LexisNexis) to compile all of the laws and keep them updated as they change. They post the laws online but with licenses that restrict your rights to reuse the information, even though it’s the public law.
Rather than ignoring the problem or issuing silly legal threats against people who were digitizing the code without permission, Zvenyach worked with the advocates to create a version of the code free of these restrictions.
[Continue reading David Alpert’s post at Greater Greater Washington.]
David Alpert is founder and editor of Greater Greater Washington. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.