[LINK] itNews: 'Google slams states over tight grip on data'

Tom Koltai tomk at unwired.com.au
Thu Nov 17 19:44:24 AEDT 2011

> -----Original Message-----
> From: link-bounces at mailman.anu.edu.au 
> [mailto:link-bounces at mailman.anu.edu.au] On Behalf Of Roger Clarke
> Sent: Thursday, 17 November 2011 8:25 AM
> To: link at anu.edu.au
> Subject: [LINK] itNews: 'Google slams states over tight grip on data'
> [Comments embedded.]
> Google slams states over tight grip on data
> John Hilvert
> Nov 16, 2011 12:30 PM (19 hours ago) 
> http://www.itnews.com.au/News/280165,google-slams-states-over-
> tight-grip-on-data.aspx
> Requests allegedly rebuffed by Australian state governments.
> Google has criticised state and territory government agencies on 
> Australia's east coast over their reluctance to make public data 
> available for use in the web giant's tools.
> Engineering director Alan Noble lashed out at the range of excuses 
> that agencies used to bar Google from public transport data.

> Speaking at the first Information Policy Conference - convened by the 
> Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) in Canberra, 
> Noble said that only the Western Australian, South Australia and 
> Northern Territory had tipped data into the Google Transit service.
> [There's a significant difference between "make public data 
> available" and "barring [other organisations and individuals] from 
> public transport data", on the one hand, and "tipping data into [one 
> particular company's databases]" on the other.

There may be a difference, but I don't see the data being made available
to Yahoo or Microsoft maps either.
Google bashing is a popular pastime in which I occasionally enjoy an
indulging moment; however Noble has a point.

The State Governments have effectively artificially slowed down the
economy by attempting cost recovery of publicly paid for data.

I believe it's called, selling the Brooklyn bridge.

On a micro-economic scale, it would appear to make sense to elicit a
licence fee (but only to Departmental Heads that lack a formal education
in Economics).
On a macro-economic basis, the ability for third party developers to
take publicly available data sets and develop time and energy saving
apps is proven. However this needs to be across the board with all
Government data, not just the list of Australian public toilets. 
(I'm still chuckling over the copyrighted Toilet list that we discussed
last year.....)
The entire argument of a transport/event timeline is similar in nature
to the ICE TV EPG court case in 2009.

A list of events does not constitute a copyrightable article.
Therefore no charge can be justified.

The federal Government have shown the States how it should be with the
opening up of data policies, the States now need to follow the lead and
"make it so".


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