Why Bother Being Open?

David Wiley, iterating toward openness, Nov 23, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

David Wiley has long argued for the benefits of open (as distinct, he notes, from "free"). But he also argues the counterpoint pretty well. He lists a number of benefits identified from OpenCourseWare (the chart alone is worth the visit to this post) and notes, "The use of an open license in no way contributes to people realizing this very lengthy list of benefits or the benefits mentioned in the prose. Everyone one of these benefits would be realized by users even if MIT OCW were published under full copyright... Why are we investing so much in the use of open licenses if open licenses don't enable the benefits we care most about?" For me, it's all about making the content accessible. And accessible, to me, means mostly "non-commercial" and "protected from commercial enclosure".
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