Sunrise (2/18/11)

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HOW PUBLIC IS PUBLIC DATA?

Nieman Lab: “Public Engines, a company that publishes crime statistics for law enforcement agencies, sued ReportSee, which provides similar services, for misappropriating crime data ReportSee makes available on CrimeReports.com. In the settlement, ReportSee is barred from using data from Public Engines, as well as from asking for data from agencies that work with Public Engines. … In the settlement between the two websites, a new question arises: Just what constitutes publicly available data? Is it raw statistics or refined numbers presented by a third party? Governments regularly farm out their data to companies that prepare and package records, but what stands out in this case is that Public Engines effectively laid claimed to the information provided to it by law enforcement. This could be problematic to news organizations, developers, and citizens looking to get their hands on data. While still open and available to the public, the information (and the timing of its release) could potentially be dictated by a private company. … I asked David Ardia of the Citizen Media Law Project whether this case could hinder development of more data products or have broader ramifications for journalists and citizens. The short answer is no, he said, since no ruling was issued. But Public Engines could be emboldened to take action against competitors, Ardia noted — and, as a result, developers looking to do something similar to what Drane has done may think twice about using public data. … “This is just the tip of the iceberg,” Ardia said. “There are tremendous amounts of money to be made in government information and data.”

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ORGANIZES SOUTH KOREA TRADE DEAL LOBBYING

Bloomberg: “Hyundai Motor Co. cars being unloaded at Philadelphia’s port became props as U.S. business lobbyists and the South Korean government pushed for approval of a free-trade deal. … The Chamber, the largest U.S. business lobbying group, arranged for South Korea’s Ambassador Han Duk Soo to visit the Philadelphia port and meet local political leaders to make the case for the agreement, the largest new deal to be sent to Congress since the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994. … The Chamber of Commerce is organizing U.S. visits by Korean officials and business leaders as a way to highlight the benefits of the deal and counter unhappiness among voters and lawmakers about previous agreements, which many blame for lost jobs and stagnant wages. … Han said he has been meeting with lawmakers as well, to help push broad support for the deal amid a consistent complaint: “They say, ‘Look at Nafta, that was bad; look at China, that was bad. Why would we do this?’”

FUNDRAISING PARTIES TODAY

Rep. Connie Mack is hosting a fundraiser in Florida with drinks, desserts, cigars and beach music.

Rep. Vern Buchanan is hosting a dinner cruise fundraiser back in his home district in Florida.

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