A Second Proposal

David Wiley, Creative Commons, Aug 25, 2003
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Discussion has heated up again at Creative Commons as David Wiley has posted a second proposal for an education-only Creative Commons license (and also on his blog). I have stated my opposition to such a license - an opposition he doesn't want to consider - and I will state it again: such a license favour educational institutions at the expense of individual learners, such a license begs the question of how 'educational' is defined and who will define it, such a license opens the door to the pervasive monitoring of 'educational use', and such a license allows commercial publishers to push more legitimate open and free content from the marketplace by protecting the commercial sale of such content in other domains. Moreover, there is no mechanism or principle for deciding on the nature or domain of such an educational license: it will be, essentially, whatever David Wiley says it will be. Some people may consider my comments to be like "hand grenades tossed your way from the peanut gallery," but I don't think the establishment of free content as some kind of charity from (and at the beck and call of) commercial publishers to be a good thing, and while the publishers would no doubt find the free publicity an educational CC license would bring to be worthwhile, it would in the long run come at the expense of students. David Wiley may have, as he says, a "personal itch," but some itches should perhaps not be scratched without due consideration of the consequences.
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