Coursera under fire in MOOCs licensing row

Megan Clement, The Conversation, Jun 30, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The Conversation makes a big deal out of John Daniel's criticisms of Coursera for not using Creative Commons licenses (because it was not news when all the thousands of other people made the same point in the weeks and months preceding this interview). Daniel, a former chancellor of Britain's Open University, said, "“While MOOCs have open enrolment, many of the MOOCs offered through commercial partners do not have open licences. Attempts to monetise internet activity usually degrade the user experience. Copyrighting MOOCs content rather than making it available as open education resource is a good example." Of course, until OpenLearn, which supports a CC-NC license, Open University materials were not open in any real sense. And OERu, the venture launched by the Commonwealth of Learning under his tenure, has a very clear monitization plan. That's why it's a bit hypocritical for him to say "the open education movement far pre-dated MOOCs" and that Coursera's approach is "neo-colonialist".

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