[cc-education] Perfection?

Downes, Stephen Stephen.Downes at nrc-cnrc.gc.ca
Sat Jul 5 16:50:52 EDT 2003


My opinion is that we need resolution of the issues raised in the original
discussion of the concept on the Creative Commons website:
http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/3633 The only draft I am aware of
appears on this page. Some significant objections and concerns were posted
by several writers, including myself. 

Specific concerns included:

- the suggestion that CC already granted the necessary rights (Schwartz,
Carver) - Brown responds, "Our current set of license options does not allow
a licensor to permit educational uses per se." Wiley responds: the education
rights would be a subset of the standard CC rights.

- the suggestion that educational use should be de facto part of the CC
project (Ray, Gerv). Ray: "I'd vote to make educational use part of all
licenses rather than something that needs to be explicitly granted."

- non-commercial use is essentially the same thing as educational use

- CC.Edu favoring one type of educational use (Wiley, Downes). As Wiley
writes, "this license would make it impossible for anyone to "do education"
except for universities and other formal organizations."

- the educational use license would be used for commercial purposes
(Pormann): "that is really just the bait to hook you into viewing ads, or
buying consulting services, or whatever."

- It creates an uneven balance between commercial and non-commercial
services (Pormann): "Thus a big company could advertise that they have their
proprietary content *AND* the CC-enabled content. The CC-author could only
post CC-enabled content. Hardly seems fair?"

The primary benefit is described as follows:

- "this license option might attract copyright holders who wouldn't
otherwise consider CC." (Hallman)

An alternative, the CC anti-license, "which forbids any educational
classroom use" was proposed by Hove.

In view of these comments, the following would have been (and, in my view,
still is) an appropriate course of action:

1. Discussion, debate, and decision on whether there ought to be a CC.Edu
license. Several of the objections were directed at this level. Some
responses were offered. It is not clear on what grounds the decision to
proceed was made.

2. Even given whether such use ought to be described, the significant
question of whether an 'education' subuse can be identified needs to be
addressed. This is especially the case with the current draft, where
'educational' really refers to traditional institutions.

3. Finally, the potential use - or abuse - of educational licensing by
commercial publishers is a concern. Educational use typically comes with
strings attached, either in terms of 'bundling' with commercial content,
'no-compete' clauses or privileged repositories, or tracking and reporting,
as required, for example, under the U.S. TEACH Act.

These considerations - which in my view are not balanced against the
inducement to attract copyright holders to license content - lead me to
argue against an education-specific instance of Creative Commons.

In my view, a CC.Edu license would hinder the development of free content
because the requirements of commercial publishers would be 'built in' to the
system of distributing free content, creating an overhead that all must bear
in order to satisfy the needs of the few.

No formal mechanism for reaching a resolution of this (or any) decision
(that I am aware of) has been proposed. I think that additional
participation in these discussions would require that some framework for
open and democratic decision making would be essential.

I thank David and CC for the opportunity to discuss these issues and welcome
the open spirit in which they have solicited responses.

Stephen Downes ~ Senior Researcher ~ National Research Council Canada
Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
http://www.downes.ca stephen at downes.ca 
stephen.downes at nrc.ca http://www.iit.nrc.ca/e-learning.html
Subscribe to my free daily newsletter featuring news and articles 
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Wiley [mailto:david.wiley at usu.edu] 
> Sent: July 3, 2003 12:46 PM
> To: cc-education at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: [cc-education] Perfection?
> Does the lack of discussion mean that no one can find any 
> problems with 
> either creating a cc.edu option or the language of the current draft?
> =)
> David
> _______________________________________________
> cc-education mailing list
> cc-education at lists.ibiblio.org 
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/cc-> education

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