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Australia

Australian Bureau of Statistics Doesn't Like Direct Downloads of Census Data 136

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the sort-of-open-data dept.
Bismillah writes "The ABS has released the census data for the country under a Creative Commons license, but instead of making it easy to get, they've put in Javascript to obfuscate file paths and more. All commented in the source code of course." At first glance, it's an attempt to get people to pay $250 for a DVD with the data instead.
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Australian Bureau of Statistics Doesn't Like Direct Downloads of Census Data

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  • by edibobb (113989) on Wednesday April 17, 2013 @12:30AM (#43469361) Homepage
    I think that is really funny! They declare the data free and then make an inept attempt to force people to pay for it. It's almost as bad as copyrighting public laws.
  • by Greyfox (87712) on Wednesday April 17, 2013 @12:39AM (#43469387) Homepage Journal
    This follows on my "best method to get tech support from a computer person." You don't ask "How do you...?" You assert, loudly, within hearing range of the computer person "This is the absolute beset way to do it!" and provide a woefully incorrect method of getting to the result you're trying to achieve. One of these methods will have the computer person falling over himself to help you. Guess which one. Have I mentioned that I'm Evil lately?

    Anyway, they're pulling the same thing here. They want someone to gather up their data and present it in a nice package for free. The best way to do that is to drop an ineptly-presented steaming pile of crap on the internets. There'll probably be 15 open source projects to slice and dice it on github by the weekend, and it didn't cost the Australian government a dime! It's brilliant!

  • Re:Bit torrent (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cheater512 (783349) <nick@nickstallman.net> on Wednesday April 17, 2013 @01:50AM (#43469689) Homepage

    Actually the census data has a whole pile of interesting nuggets in it.
    I do have portions of it right now.

    I didn't notice all the javascript however and thought the download process was straight forward.
    Kudos to the ABS for using Creative Commons.

  • Re:Link to torrent (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mjwx (966435) on Wednesday April 17, 2013 @02:13AM (#43469769)

    There may be inventive public servants, but I highly doubt they are inventive enough to make a stupid obfuscated download system just so that some guy would bittorrrent it, and thereby save the government a small amount of money on bandwidth. I mean really.

    You've never worked in the APS have you. The fewer people you have to serve, the better your balance sheet looks. If someone else can do it, why not.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 17, 2013 @03:04AM (#43469927)

    It's almost as bad as copyrighting public laws.

    I'm not sure if you're joking here but the Australian government actually DOES copyright legal documents. For example to comply with telephone wiring regulations requires access to a document released by "Standards Australia" which costs about $200 last I checked. I don't doubt that the document was developed using public funds. I'm sure this shit happens a lot more than people realise.

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