I read on https://resources.data.gov/open-licenses/ that works created by U.S. Government employees within the scope of their employment default to the public domain:
The Federal Open Data Policy states: “Agencies must apply open licenses, in consultation with the best practices found in Project Open Data, to information as it is collected or created so that if data are made public there are no restrictions on copying, publishing, distributing, transmitting, adapting, or otherwise using the information for non-commercial or for commercial purposes.”
As described below, works created by U.S. Government employees within the scope of their employment default to U.S. Public Domain. However, works produced by outside parties which are created or obtained for use by the U.S. Government may need open licenses applied to them: “When information is acquired or accessed by an agency through performance of a contract, appropriate existing clauses 22 shall be utilized to meet these objectives”
The Project Open Data Metadata Schema provides a
licensefield which is defined as “the license or non-license (i.e. Public Domain) status with which the dataset or API has been published” and must be provided as a URL. Guidance and example URLs can be found below for properly documenting the license or non-license of your agency’s data in accordance with the open data policy.
And according to https://legalaidatwork.org/factsheet/government-workers-rights/, person who works a local city or county are US government or “public sector” employee:
Any person who works for the U.S. government, the State of California, a local city or county, or any other public employer, such as a school district or transportation agency (e.g., Bay Area Rapid Transit) is a government or “public sector” employee. Those employees have employment rights that are often different than the rights given to employees who work for non-government, or “private” employers.
Am I correct to infer that public content/data created by a US city have an open license (public domain if created by US city employees or open license if created by a contractor)?
For example, must the minutes and agendas PDF documents on https://sfgov.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx (City and County of San Francisco) have an open license? I did email them ([email protected]) and their answer was "Minutes and agendas are official public documents, but may not be reposted or edited.", which contradicts my understanding, but perhaps I am missing something.