[OSGeo-Edu] licensing (or not) edu material

P Kishor punk.kish at gmail.com
Mon Jul 26 09:08:09 EDT 2010


On Mon, Jul 26, 2010 at 5:25 AM, Charlie Schweik
<cschweik at pubpol.umass.edu> wrote:
> I've added the discussion of licenses to the agenda,

First, as noted earlier, I won't be able to attend the IRC meeting,
but will be happy to assist with the above topic the best I can.

> although that important
> issue as we try and move toward a functional new derivative system might
> encompass the meeting entirely by itself.  Your concerns, Simon, are really
> important. What I'm hoping part of the online meeting can be about is
> figuring out what are the most interesting and most important to-do items
> for our group and then get some subcommittees trying to move them forward.
> If we can establish a regular meeting time that isn't too painful for most
> people (another agenda item?)  then we can have a regular  once-a-month
> meeting to get updates on our progress.
> The license issue is an example. My take on it is that we as a group can
> only encourage the use of one (or maybe a couple) CC licenses, but can't
> mandate one to our potential authors of content (that wasn't your point
> anyway, Simon, I don't think). I think license choice needs to be left to
> the original author. (Others may have differences of opinion so this would
> be worth discussing). But I do wonder about whether we could have some
> guidance text established -- and perhaps Puneet's last post might be the
> beginning of such text?  Knowing that Puneet is closely linked to Creative
> Commons I wonder if  he might be encouraged to do take a stab at this?

Second, I whole-heartedly agree with your approach. You cannot and
should not mandate the use of any particular strategy, you can and
should encourage a particular strategy. The strategy I like to
encourage is what I stated in my response to Simon --

Make up your mind. Do you want your work to be really free and usable
by as many people as possible? If yes, then release it under the most
lenient license possible.

The most lenient license is *no license*, that is, Public Domain.
However, since educational material has copyrightable elements in it,
Creative Commons would recommend CC0 (just as lenient and free as PD).
Both PD and CC0 effectively waive all rights in the underlying
materials. They are technically not licenses, but are actually waiver
of licenses.

Under certain jurisdictions, waiving one's rights is very difficult or
impossible. For those jurisdictions, Creative Commons recommends CC-BY
3.0 (note, specifically the version 3 of the CC-BY license). That
allows for a weak attribution requirement, thereby giving the maximum
permissible freedom to the potential user of the work.

All that said, if you *don't* want others to derive from your work, or
to commercialize your work, then use CC-ND or CC-NC (or combo)
licenses. Of course, realize that doing so might discourage some
people from using your work. In the view of many (including myself),
CC-NC/ND are not as free as CC0 or CC-BY 3.0. You can't have it be
"free" and "restricted" at the same time.

Creative Commons provides options for all variations of motives. Use
an appropriate license, or attach a license waiver.

Please feel free to use any or all of the above for edu material.

Puneet Kishor http://www.punkish.org
Carbon Model http://carbonmodel.org
Charter Member, Open Source Geospatial Foundation http://www.osgeo.org
Science Commons Fellow, http://sciencecommons.org/about/whoweare/kishor
Nelson Institute, UW-Madison http://www.nelson.wisc.edu
Assertions are politics; backing up assertions with evidence is science

More information about the Edu_discuss mailing list