Rogue archivist Carl Malamud sez,
Public.Resource.Org has sent in 3 letters to the Administration to try and get Federal Law to become open source:
1. An appeal to the Executive Office of the President to help us make the Federal Register and the U.S. Patent databases available in bulk and for free. The letter is addressed to Aneesh Chopra and Vivek Kundra, the President's CTO and CIO. I've met both of them and they're both very good and I'm hoping they'll be able to help cut through the red tape.
2. A formal FOIA request to the National Archives asking them to make the very expensive standards that are "Incorporated by Reference" into the Code of Federal Regulations available for free. These standards cost *big* bucks from groups like ANSI and Underwriters Laboratories. Although these "Standards Development Organizations" are ostensibly nonprofit, you'd be shocked how many million-dollar CEO salaries they have.
3. Last year, we pooled our money with Sunlight Foundation and other groups and forked over $17,000 for the bulk feed of the Code of Federal Regulations. Well, the product is defective and we want our money back.
These 3 actions taken together are trying to establish a basic principle: the laws of our society need to be readily available for all to read, not locked behind a cash register. The past practice of parceling out the public domain to private parties is illegal and needs to stop.
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