There's been plenty of attention paid to the news that the website for President-Elect Obama's transition team, Change.gov
has been placed under a Creative Commons license
, allowing others to make use of the content with attribution. However, I'm a bit hard pressed to see how this actually is a big deal. The whole thing is made a bit odd by the fact that federal government content is not covered by copyright, so anything that comes out of the White House is in the public domain. But, apparently since Obama has not yet been inaugurated, the campaign can still claim copyright on the content. But, why would they? Rather than going with a CC license, why not go all the way and put the content in the public domain? After all, in two months, all such content will be in the public domain anyway? It seems a little odd, counterproductive and unnecessary to add more restrictions
to the content than there will be once Obama is actually in office. If the Obama team really
wanted to do something meaningful concerning the content on the site, they could follow the advice of Tim O'Reilly and go beyond
just putting the content in the public domain and also add revision control
, thereby committing to alerting people to any changes to the content. Now, that would be an impressive change.