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Wk 2-Licenses

Open Licenses - Creative Commons

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A good working definition of "open," as we intend it in this course, includes materials that are "free from copyright restrictions or are publicly licensed for anyone to use, adapt, and redistribute." (Ahrash Bissell, ccLearn)

Here is another definition and discussion of OER from Stephen Downes (CC BY NC SA).

So then, would a license that prohibits any changes to the work (such as CC BY ND) be "open"? How about one that forces that any derivative works also be open licensed (such as CC BY SA)? These are the subtle debates that open aficionados love to have!

Here are just a few of the heated debates on this topic:

Frankly, this debate can get old fast, but what license you decide to use for your own work is an important decision.

Look at the main Creative Commons (CC) open licenses and think about them. Which license would you prefer to use for your own work, and why? Post a comment about this, or if you'd rather blog about it on your own blog, just post a link.


Other Open Licenses

In addition to the licenses published by Creative Commons, which are the most common and straightforward licenses, some publishers opt to write their own open licenses.

Review some of these custom licenses and post an opinion about whether or not you think they are truly open. What might be the advantages or disadvantages to using a custom license like this instead of a Creative Commons license?

Citing Sources

So after you find something open-licensed that you want to use, what do you do?

You don't need to contact the creator or ask permission, but you do need to credit the creator of the work. This is a requirement of all CC licenses. (It is not required for public domain works.)

There are a few ways to do credits. One is to put the credit right with the work, as a caption.

Note that if all you can find is a screen name for the creator, that's fine to use.

For school work, many teachers like to have students include a link to where they got the work as well as a credit.

You can also include all the credits at the end of the work in a final slide or rolling credits. This is especially convenient for movies.


OK, let's start remixing!

Choose one of these collaborative "Go Remix" projects (or make up one of your own):

Find one or more open-licensed image(s) or other content that fit the template (or again, create a new section). Add the image and write an appropriate credit.

When we're all done, we'll have not only found open-licensed content and written credits but also remixed content. If it's good, maybe we can make it into an ebook or movie and post it online.

Task Discussion

  • karen   Oct. 13, 2011, 12:45 p.m.

    A few years ago I found a wikibook project called Animal Alphabet.

    It was a simple remix of Creative Commons licensed photos to teach the alphbet.

    I remixed this with open music to make a video and also made ebooks for handhelds.

    This was a simple project that was fun and didn't take much time, and thousands have downloaded and viewd it which I think is pretty cool.

    I'm hoping that we can work on some similar projects together here. If you have time, please add a photo or two. Go remix!

  • karen   Oct. 12, 2011, 6:03 p.m.

    For my content that I want to share, I generally choose a CC BY license. This is because it is the least restrictive license for others.

    For our open dictionary, we chose to license is public domain to be even more open. We decided we didn't even care if people cited us as the source for this content. We just really wanted everyone to be free to use it in any way they wanted.

  • karen   Oct. 12, 2011, 6 p.m.

    We had a good discussion on the webinar last night abouut different kinds of licenses and the pros and cons of each.

    For example, the non-commercial license often sounds appealing, but it isn't always clear what "commercial use" means. Is it just selling the content (which is clearly not allowed with this license) or does it also apply to professional organizations using the content or even paid consultants or tutors?

    I also want to point out that many "free" content and tools that are available are great, but are not open. There is a huge difference between free and open. Do you think about this when you choose Web 2.0 tools or free content?

    I know I do!

    I like free tools, but they have some significant downsides when compared to free and open.