Yesterday Dr. David Wiley of Open Content published the Open Education License Draft. Before the text of the draft itself he relates some of his thoughts and experiences relating to open licenses from a decade of promoting open content.
Though wary of the proliferation and politics of open licenses, he suggests that there is a need for a new license for educational content that is easy to apply and understand, which maximises user freedom and compatibility with content available under other open licenses, and which minimises user restrictions.
He describes the ‘four Rs’, or ‘the four main types of activity enabled by open content’ – reusing, reworking, remixing and re-distribution – and argues that while they significantly overlap we should strive to ensure that open licenses protect the freedom of users to do them all. He flags up how copyleft clauses can inhibit the extent to which open works can be remixed (see his Noncommercial Isnâ€™t the Problem, ShareAlike Is for more on this). He also discusses the problems with public domain dedication – concluding that it ‘is not an internationally viable mechanism for open content’.
The draft for the Open Education License is certainly compatible with the Open Knowledge Definition and looks like it will be the most liberal open license available. We look forward to seeing how it develops.
Dr. Jonathan Gray is Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, where he is currently writing a book on data worlds. He is also Cofounder of the Public Data Lab; and Research Associate at the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam) and the médialab (Sciences Po, Paris). More about his work can be found at jonathangray.org and he tweets at @jwyg.