February 2008

On February 8, as the Open Source Definition and the Open Source Initiative entered their second decade, Bruce Perens published his reflections in State of Open Source Message: A New Decade for Open Source. He states his intent was to provide "another way of talking about Free Software, tailored to the ears of business people". Seeing that Gartner is predicting that "by 2011 at least 80% of commercial software will contain significant amounts of open source code", it would appear that the open source message has succeeded in reaching the ears of business people.

While awareness of open source code has reached a certain level of maturity, the innovation possibilities extend beyond the code itself. As you'll see in this issue of the OSBR, awareness of open "data" is still in its infancy, resulting in many untapped opportunities.

Tracey Lauriault and Hugh McGuire from Open Access to Civic Information and Data describe current restrictions on Canadian public data and provide examples of potential benefits as access to this data becomes open. Joseph Potvin examines how Canadian copyright draws upon both the British and French traditions and the impact for those who deal with source code, data, and databases.

Jordan Hatcher from the Open Data Commons Project introduces the Public Domain Dedication & License and the CCZero tool which allow data and databases to be placed into the public domain. Ismael Pena-Lopez from the Open University of Catalonia examines the benefits of a Personal Research Portal to knowledge workers.

I'd like to encourage readers to take advantage of the tools in the OSBR website. You can use the tools to post comments, notify colleagues, send emails to authors, access printable versions, access article metadata, and search for additional works. All content is released under a Creative Commons license, meaning you are free to link, discuss, and reprint any content as long as you provide attribution. If you blog or review any articles, let the author know--they will appreciate the exposure.

We welcome suggestions for themes of future OSBR issues (e.g. open source for geospatial applications, open source for health) and names of potential authors of insightful articles. future editorial themes. Please send your suggestions via email to the Editor. As always, we look forward to your feedback and suggestions for improving the OSBR.

Dru Lavigne


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