Improving OER Messaging: A Heresy

David Wiley, iterating toward openness, May 13, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

David Wiley want to "unify" the messaging around open educational resources (OERs). But he deftly skips over the parts that disunify us, asking (cryptically) "Why shouldn't our messaging in DC focus on the phrase 'public domain'?" when he knows that the answer is "because it elides the whole question of non-commercial licenses, in favour of abolishing them." For me, one of the realizations I had during a talk in Argentina that the concepts of free "gratis" and free "libre" cannot really be separated - that you don't have "libre" without "gratis" (which is what makes a poll tax so pernicious). My own messaging has been consistent and clear throughout, and is crystallized in a single, simple, slogan: Free Learning. Which makes me wonder why Wiley has been so consistently opposed to the concept over the years.
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