Later today you will have many discussions about data generated by the government or with government support, including meteorological data, genomic data, geographic data, and physical sciences data. What all of you know already, and what will become even clearer, I think, from this workshop, is that even when we agree that government-generated data should reach the public at minimal cost, how to achieve that goal remains a very complex problem.
Yet, formulating a clear, workable, U.S. position on database protection, which continues to ensure that government-generated data remain available to the public sector, may be critical in the international area to stave off efforts by other countries to impose conditions and controls on the dissemination of government-generated data.
For all these reasons, we are thankful to the NRC and to NOAA for organizing this event. ThePatent and Trademark Office is very happy to be participating, and we look forward to the contribution that this workshop will make to this year's discussion about database protection and access issues. Thank you very much.
DR. FORESMAN: Tim Foresman, University of Maryland. Could you give us a definition of what you mean by government-funded data or government-generated data?
MR. DICKINSON: I am a lawyer. I am unfortunately not given to very precise definitions all the time. I am hopeful that we can take away from this workshop a greater understanding of what we do mean by government-generated data. I think from the Patent and Trade Office perspective, we are talking about federally generated data. I think that others would take other approaches, depending on their perspective on who is generating data and where they sit. I think basically what the Administration is representing is federally generated data.