What is Open Licensing?

As new forms of publication and scholarship begin to take hold, the academic world is examining standard forms of licensing and rights management and finding them lacking. While current copyright and intellectual property laws focus on restricting use of materials, authors are beginning to explore new models that center on enabling use while still protecting the academic value of a publication. Some rights are still reserved, but some are proactively licensed at publication time to encourage re-use. These approaches make it clear which rights are licensed for various uses, removing the barrier of copyright and smoothing the way for others to access and use one’s work. One such approach is that taken by Creative Commons, an organization that supplies easy-to-understand, “some rights reserved” licenses for creative work. Authors simply review the list of rights they can grant or restrict, make their choice, and receive a link to a written license that spells out how their work may be used. The licenses work within current copyright laws but clearly state how a work may be used. Copyleft is another alternative license; often used in open source software development and describes how a work can be used and also governs how derivative works are to be licensed as well. Models like these are beginning to gain acceptance among artists, photographers, and musicians; scholarly papers and reports are increasingly released under alternative licenses. Some organizations, such as the New Media Consortium, have made it a policy to release all their work under licenses that facilitate sharing and reuse.

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - Larry Larry Feb 7, 2012

(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Although Open Licensing is not as 'sexy' as topics such as Google Glass or 3D printing, I think OL is on the short - and middle term very important. Especially when teaching students research skills or critical reading skills, it is very inconvenient to work with a limited set of articles because other papers are not available. - e.degroot e.degroot Oct 20, 2014 - helga helga Oct 20, 2014 - jochen.robes jochen.robes Oct 27, 2014 - momillard momillard Oct 28, 2014
  • I use images prolifically in the design and development of my online courses. I rely heavily on Creative Commons licensed images and site them them appropriately, in an effort to model to my students how to re-use digital media. - mpacansky-brock mpacansky-brock Oct 27, 2014 - momillard momillard Oct 28, 2014

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • More tools (Haiku Deck) are integrating CC licensed images into their workflow. It's important to view the effects of Open Licensed creative works on how faculty and students are able to re-use them in their own content creations. The OL movement plays a major role in the vision of shifting to a content creation society, as re-use is a form of creation. - mpacansky-brock mpacansky-brock Oct 27, 2014 - momillard momillard Oct 28, 2014
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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on higher education?

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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • I feel that the Unizin project also fits into this topic, since one of its fundamental philosophical goals is to empower consortium members (higher education institutions) with the open tools and platforms for learning and scholarly publishing to better compete with closed systems. - momillard momillard Oct 28, 2014
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