Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
My first reaction to the Creative Commons article was to ant to repeat the mantra "open does not mean commercial, open does not mean commercial" over and over to them. Because this article comes off as yet another article touting certain licenses as the One True definition of open. As in this: "We strongly prefer governments use fully free/open CC tools " the CC0 Public Domain Dedication and CC Attribution (BY) and Attribution-ShareAlike (BY-SA) licenses." But this - as I have argued at length elsewhere - is just a license to allow some company to effectively lock down open government data and force it into channels where access is prevented with a paywall. But this article also points to the Open Definition by the Open Knowledge Project, which offers a much better definition of 'open' than any of the Creative Commons licenses.

Two clauses are specifically meritorious:
- The work shall be available as a whole and at no more than a reasonable reproduction cost, preferably downloading via the Internet without charge (I read this as meaning you can't lock it behind a paywall).
- The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the work in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the work from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research.
This allows for commercial use, which I have always supported, as distinct from commercial sale. If the Creative Commons people can advance beyond mindlessly parroting the myth that CC-by is "fully free" then we may have some room to advance the cause of open access.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

Creative Commons License.

Copyright 2021
Last Updated: Mar 30, 2021 11:42 a.m.