There have been several developments in recent weeks in the effort to make the District of Columbia statutory code freely available.
The project began in February 2013 when Tom MacWright posted You Cannot Have the DC Code, complaining that no free and open version of the DC Code was available for developers or the public to use.
In March 2013, Public.Resource.Org posted a digital version of the DC Code.
This week, the DC Council posted an unofficial digital version of the DC Code, licensed with the Creative Commons CC0 license.
This week it was announced that a hackathon to hack the DC Code will be held on 14 April 2013: Open DC Code Hackathon, in Washington, DC.
The Twitter hashtag for the Open DC Code Hackathon 2013 was #openlawdc
IRC discussion during the Open DC Code Hackathon 2013 occurred on Freenode under #openlawdc
Among the notable aspects of this project are that it demonstrates how members of the legal informatics and open-government-data communities can use the Internet to coordinate their efforts to make legal data publicly available, address challenging policy issues, and realize several of the principles of the open government data movement.
Here are selected articles and posts about the effort to make the DC Code publicly available on the Web and free of copyright restrictions:
- Tom MacWright: DC’s laws aren’t yours
- Cory Doctorow: Municipal codes of DC, free for all — liberated without permission
- Waldo Jaquith: Washington D.C. and the Work Ahead
- Steve Schultze: The District of Columbia Claims Copyright on the Law
- Martin Austermuhle: Breaking the Law to Publish the Law: Open Government Advocate Digitizes Entirety of D.C. Code
- Tom MacWright: The Open Code
- Tom Lee: The D.C. Code is Open–Come Hack on It!
- Dr. Joshua Tauberer: DC opens its “code”, embracing principles of open laws
For additional news about development of the Open DC Code, please see the comments to this post.