Half a Win for the National Archives

The National Archives has created a cool new website called Docs Teach that offers access to lots of Archives material. All good stuff. But bizarrely they’re asserting copyright in the name of the “Foundation for the National Archives” rather than releasing the site into the public domain as the product of a government agency:


Whether or not this analysis passes legal muster I’ll leave to others to decide. But there’s no reason to do it. The Foundation says it “works in partnership with the National Archives to “open the stacks” of the Archives and enable millions of visitors to interact personally with the original records of our democracy through the National Archives Experience.” That sounds great. But what better way to serve the public than by clarifying that this archived material exists in the public domain and that the public is free to interact with it however we want?