GetUp's SMH article subtracts the transparency from eDemocracy

I was pretty disappointed to read this article in the SMH yesterday on the birth of eDemocracy in Australia. Written by someone from GetUp, it failed to mention OpenAustralia.org, while spruiking GetUp’s forthcoming website, Project Democracy, which will actually run on OpenAustralia.org’s software and use OpenAustralia.org data.

Here’s the article I wrote for Crikey today about the incident:

GetUp’s SMH article subtracts the transparency from eDemocracy

Credit where credit is due is a basic etiquette and underpins both the ethos and licensing of Open Source software. I hope GetUp has learned their lesson.

1 Comment

  1. Peter Renshaw Said,

    January 14, 2009 @ 5:05 am

    “… We want to see all sorts of organisations building on the work we’ve done but we’d also like to see Open Australia acknowledged as the source …”

    One thing that’s not clear to me, what exactly is OpenAustralia supplying GetUp? Code, data, both?

    Is the data ‘Open Australia’ being forwarded to GetUp or the parsing code the only resource being used?. If it’s the data, the data could possibly be licensed by OA to make GetUp acknowledge the source. The parsing tools [1] are covered by the GNU Affero GPL so they have to be acknowledged as per the license.

    I’ve looked at the “Project Democracy” site and it is a poor cousin to the OA offering. Is there any formal arrangement for GetUp to give OA access to any primary source, digital data they may extract?

    References

    [1] “web scraper / parser which was written from scratch for downloading and parsing the Hansard data from the Australian Parliament website”

    http://trac2.assembla.com/openaustralia