Josh Tauberer, founder and creator of GovTrack.us (and Open House Project contributor), announced today that his site is now "officially totally open source." Josh’s broadened commitment to opening the code that runs his site is very exciting; GovTrack can now benefit from the same kind of public examination and participation that the site encourages from citizens in dealing with their national legislature.
While the database of legislative information is in the public domain, "the front-end and back-end are licensed under the new GNU AGPL license, which basically means that you cannot modify the files without making the modifications publicly available," writes Josh. Scott Wells, Sunlight’s administrator, and an enthusiastic open standards advocate, observed that this license is "the fun, new one", proving that Josh is as adept at licensing options as he is at screen-scraping and designing the semantic web.
Greg Elin, on the Sunlight Labs blog, suggests that everyone have at the source code. Josh deserves some reinforcements, after singlehandedly putting together such a complex site on which so many other sites rely.