Posted by: William Heath
Public Sector Information Holder: Office of Public Sector Information
Information Asset: Efficiency & Fairness white paper and future white papers
This is a minor irritation not a big issue. But the (c) Crown copyright notice on recent Cabinet Office Excellence and fairness white paper reads:
"The text in this document may be reproduced free of charge in any format or media without requiring specific permission. This is subject to the material not being used in a derogatory manner or in a misleading context."
This sounds like a tax on dissent. It casts government in a bad light because it's hard to see how it would be enforced or damages assessed.
My ideal solution
there were simply a crown copyright or creative commons notice, and people were allowed to quote this publicly paid-for material for any purpose - critical, satirical, polemic or just plain old discussing policy which is surely what a white paper is intended for.
What I would do
Exactly the same as I do now, except I wouldnt gripe about it.
Also we would all lose that nagging feeling that
a) we might face sanctions for quoting extracts and being critical and
b) government is still being paranoid and unreasonable.