Australian Department of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy

Digital Economy Defined

Mike Linksvayer, July 18th, 2009

July 14 the Australian Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy released Australia’s Digital Economy: Future Directions under a CC BY-NC-ND licence.

Many readers of this blog will be especially interested in the report’s section on open access to public sector information:

An open access approach to the release of public sector information is a logical response to the digital economy and innovation benefits that can result from new and emerging digital use and re-use, subject to privacy, national security or confidentiality concerns. In this context, ‘open access’ means access on terms and in formats that clearly permit and enable such use and re-use by any member of the public. This allows anyone with an innovative idea to add value to existing public sector information for the common good, often in initially unforeseen or unanticipated ways.

As one commentator has argued, “[n]o one supplier, public or private, can design all information products required to meet the needs of all users in a modern information-based economy.” By opening access to appropriate categories of government information to all members of the public, those best placed to innovate can do so and the market can decide which product is most useful.

The report covers many other topics, befitting its definition of “digital economy”:

The global network of economic and social activities that are enabled by information and communications technologies, such as the internet, mobile and sensor networks.

Congratulations to all involved, especially former CC General Counsel Mia Garlick, who last year joined the Australian Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy to lead its digital economy initiatives.

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