What Status for Open? A ccLearn Publication

Unattributed, Creative Commons, Dec 19, 2008
Commentary by Stephen Downes

According to this summary, while most agencies have adopted a standard license, such as a Creative Commons license, there remains a significant subset that has developed their own unique licenses. Additionally - and probably more significantly - the study finds that the terms of open licenses are "are difficult to find or to understand" and that "the usefulness of OERs as a group is limited by incompatible license conditions." In the full report you find their recommendations, including machine readability of license terms, license standardization and license compatibility (which is once again essentially the recommendation that licensors drop the 'non-commercial' clause (p. 16). This gets tiresome. Proponents can recommend this until they're blue in the face. They can disguise this ongoing campaign under the heading of 'research studies'. But the fact remains, especially outside purely capitalist economies, people have an aversion to commercial use - look at licenses on Flickr, where a significant majority of photos are restricted to noncommercial use.
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