Sunday, October 14, 2007

OpenEdu Week 7: Licensing Open Educational Resources

QUESTIONS: Can you think of license options that CC is currently missing that would benefit the open education movement? As the CC and GFDL licenses are incompatible, how can OCW content be legally remixed with Wikipedia content? Some people claim that the Creative Commons ShareAlike clause provides most of the protections people want to secure from the Creative Commons NonCommercial clause. What do you think these people mean, are they right, and why? Is copyleft good for the open education movement? Why or why not?

As weekly reading moves on, I feel the content becomes harder and harder to incorporate and assimilate for me as a beginner of this field. Though I spent much more time than any other classes, the outcome every week is not what I am expected. Not an easy class for me! To understand the weekly questions is even a problem, how can I afford to give the right answer or related opinions to those questions? Class needs to move on, I keep encourage myself hang on and learn as much as I could.

Compare to last week’s reading, this week’s reading tells more details about the different licenses: GFDL, Creative Commons and Public Domain. I had a hard time to answer last week’s questions about those three licenses. I will still try to move onto this week’s questions. I couldn’t think of many options that CC is currently missing because I am so lack of the knowledge in this new field. After I read a few classmates’ postings, I strongly agree with Greg and Houshuang’s opinions that there should be a creative commons license that does not require attribution. The author put efforts on finding the recourses; attributions do not need to be required. This idea may help creativities of the derivative work. One option I could think is that Creative Commons can allow derivative work to reuse the entire original work as long as they can add new things into the original ones. Maybe this is the idea that derives from copyright.

After reading GNU Free Documentation License, I just notice that my understanding was totally wrong during last reading, what’s why it looked like I didn’t go through the readings at all. I should find out the CC and GFDL licenses are incompatible instead of mixing up those two concepts and thinking that they are even similar licenses. The GFDL differs from the CC licenses in its requirement that the licensed work be distributed in a form which is "transparent". The Free Software Foundation’s GNU Free Documentation License is a copyleft license designed initially for software documentation, but used most prominently by the Wikipedia project. It requires derivatives be licensed under the GFDL only. If OCW content can be legally remixed with Wikipedia content, we need to find some parts that CC and GFDL are in common; unfortunately, we can’t find any results from this point. Solutions have to be explored in other ways. I am thinking of combining those licenses into one license because essentially they have the common goal to give creators the opportunity to offer others important freedoms. Can Wikimedia, Wikieducator, and some other Wikis be some solutions? This may solve this one problem, but cause more problems; so I don’t know if it will be a good solution.

The sentence “Creative Commons ShareAlike clause provides most of the protections people want to secure from the Creative Commons NonCommercial clause” can have the meaning that share-alike has broader content than non-commercial does. Share-alike covers non-commercial and also can be used for commercial purposes. In Dr. Wiley’s posting Noncommercial Isn’t the Problem, ShareAlike Is, he wrote that in both the Free Software Foundation and Creative Commons contexts, copyleft or share-alike means “if you’re creating a derivative work, you have to use our license - and only our license.” I think people are right because share-alike can be used for many purposes including commercials. If people want to use Creative Commons NonCommercial licensed item in their business even not for gaining money from people, but they are not allowed to use the item in their business. Then they have to find another item with a different license.

I think copyleft, or reciprocal license, is definitely good for open education movement. Copyleft is derived from the ideas of open source software. People receive a copy of a work permission to reproduce, adapt or distribute the work. Copyleft allows an author to impose some but not all copyright restrictions on those who want to engage in activities so that it can avoid copyright infringement. Copyleft has some kinds of restrictions to avoid the work falling into public domain so it’s not fully opened yet. Dr. Wiley’s posting ShareAlike, the public domain, and privileging also indicates that how good public domain is for open education movement. Although copyleft has some restrictions, it is still good for open education movement.

I also agree with the idea in the same posting that with copyleft we once again find the “developed world” mandating solutions for the “developing world”. Most of the time, “developed world” provides the content, some people translate them into the languages of “developing world”. It is rare for us to see any improvement or add-ins in the open educational resources in “developing world”. I think the open education movement conception still needs some changes in people’s mind in the “developing world”.

2 comments:

houshuang said...

hi,
i'm not a 湖北人,我是挪威人,但是我曾经在中国带过一年半,但我很喜欢热干面。我也很高兴能够认识别的对教育感兴趣的人。谢谢你对我的博克的赞成。加油:)
侯爽

David said...

"Though I spent much more time than any other classes, the outcome every week is not what I am expected. Not an easy class for me! To understand the weekly questions is even a problem, how can I afford to give the right answer or related opinions to those questions?" If you feel like the readings are too hard, or you're having a hard time understanding them, let's meet and talk about what you're reading... I don't want you to feel all alone with your work!