BY MATT MCGREGOR
Two week ago, the New Zealand Open Government Data Programme announced the release of NZGOAL version 2.0.
For those who don’t know, NZGOAL is a great piece of government policy, which was approved by Cabinet in 2010. In essence, NZGOAL advocates for the use of Creative Commons licensing across the state sector.
Some organisations, like Public Service Departments, are directed to use NZGOAL; state services agencies are strongly encouraged, while school Boards of Trustees are invited.
Five years on, we’ve seen a reasonably steady uptake on NZGOAL. Public Service Departments are getting steadily better at using open licensing by default, especially data-heavy agencies like Statistics New Zealand, Land Information New Zealand and Ministry for the Environment.
We’re also seeing uptake in the GLAM sector, with Te Papa, National Library of New Zealand and Auckland Museum all making commitments to open licensing. Schools are also beginning to use CC – we’ve currently got around ninety schools with CC policies, and more to come in the future. Local government and research institutions are also beginning to make moves towards greater openness, which is great to see.
As NZGOAL gradually became the default setting for the release of an increasing number copyright and non-copyright works, New Zealand Open Government Data Programme decided that the policy and guidance materials it uses needed updating.
One important change was the simplification of the review and release process flow-chart. You can read about the other changes here.
Most important, though — from our point of view at Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand, at least — is that Creative Commons HQ finished its exhaustive process of developing the 4.0 version of the CC licences.
The original version of NZGOAL recommended the use of the Creative Commons 3.0 New Zealand licences. These licences had been ‘ported’ for New Zealand law. If you’re interested in learning more about this, check out this interview we conducted with Andrew Matangi, who led the initial porting process.
While there is nothing wrong with the 3.0 NZ licences, the arrival of the 4.0 licences is a welcome opportunity to ensure that everyone in the world is using the same CC licences. The CC licence chooser — which many people use to get their standard licensing statement — also puts some hurdles in the way of those people looking for the earlier, ported licences.
The upshot of all this is that the NZGOAL team have decided to officially recommend the 4.0 licences. While agencies can still decide to use the older 3.0 NZ licences if they want, the guidance material provided by NZGOAL will recommend the 4.0 licences. Over time, we can expect more and more agencies to go down the CC 4.0 road.
For those of you with works licensed under CC 3.0 NZ — or any other licence — you don’t need to worry. This licence is still legally valid and robust, and can still be used to licence your work. And if you want to change, that’s fine too.