I've been concerned that change.gov's copyright policy was going to be applied too broadly to whitehouse.gov after the transition -- I'm certainly a fan of Creative Commons licensing but I'm not a fan of introducing copyright licensing into an arena where copyright does not so much apply. Government materials generally are not copyrightable, and I did not want to see that changing or being confused. There were certainly problems with the application of the CC license on change.gov -- for example, transcripts of speeches by Senator Obama were being presented under that banner. That raised my eyebrow. However, I'm happy to see whitehouse.gov now saying this:
Pursuant to federal law, government-produced materials appearing on this site are not copyright protected. The United States Government may receive and hold copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise.
Except where otherwise noted, third-party content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Visitors to this website agree to grant a non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license to the rest of the world for their submissions to Whitehouse.gov under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
That's pretty incredible to see, and congratulations to Creative Commons for achieving this level of visibility.
Of course, I'm not so happy to see this:
The White House respects the intellectual property of others, and we ask users of our Web sites to do the same. In accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and other applicable law, we have adopted a policy of terminating, in appropriate circumstances and at our sole discretion, subscribers or account holders who are deemed to be repeat infringers. We may also at our sole discretion limit access to our Web site and/or terminate the accounts of any users who infringe any intellectual property rights of others, whether or not there is any repeat infringement.
But, that's no surprise.