Defining Open

David Wiley, iterating toward openness, Nov 23, 2009
Commentary by Stephen Downes

My frustration with this post, in which David Wiley takes another stab at defining 'open' educational content, is that it refects a prosition that I would have thought untenable after our discussion in Vancouver last fall. But we'll get to see more of that. For now, the comments are where the interesting stuff is happening, with WikiEducator's Wayne Mackintosh bringing to bear the (comercially friendly) Free Cultural Works Definition and Stevan Harnad iterating that "Open Content is not what the global Open Access movement is seeking for their peer-reviewed research articles." My perspective is that each of these, and large swaths of Wiley's own position, represent efforts by corporations to own what we might call free and/or open content, and to make it not free. It's almost as though these authors all have a wilful suspension of belief regarding what corporations would do with content if they could. Today's newsletter ought to serve as a corrective.
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