[cc-education] Quick draft

Stephen Downes stephen at downes.ca
Mon Feb 9 16:10:53 EST 2004


Just a few comments to move the discussion along...

First, on the question of what academics want:

David Wiley wrote:

> email at greglondon.com wrote:
> >Ack!!! no wonder the push for an education-only license
> >continues. You begin with the questionable assumption
> >that more educators will contribute to an education-only
> >license.
> There is actually rather sound logic behind this idea. Most people want
> to give up few rights. Few people want to give up most rights. There is
> a fairly smooth continnum in between the two zealous ends. This is
> explained in more detail here -
> http://www.reusability.org/blogs/david/archives/000139.html
The research doesn't bear that out. In the only large scale survey
that I am aware of on this topic, 'educational use only' isn't
even on the authors' radar screen. Cites:


The survey, which interviewed more than 500 archiving and
non-archiving academics, found that attribution was the
overwhelming desire of the vast majority. A sizable minority
also wanted to ensure that the work was not used

After completing the survey, the project recommended
the following:

> It can be seen that all of the DP and SP's requirements could be met 
> by the CC licences except 'by prior agreement' which could not be met 
> by any automated system. It was therefore decided to recommend the use 
> of CC licences to express rights over metadata as well as rights over 
> resources.

The best evidence available, therefore, does not argue
in favour of a specialized 'educational license'. Quite
the contrary.

Second, what does it mean to adopt an 'education only license'?

David writes,

> No, Zack didn't do this. I wrote in the draft. I believe empowering the
> users to choose between attachment to educational institution (which the
> CC lawyers tell me has a very clearly defined meaning, in the US legal
> system anyway) was the best compromise we could arrive at based on all
> the opinions expressed during the last several months' discussion.
Leaving aside the argument that this is a U.S.-only definition,
which I have already learned from discussions here exerts
no sway whatsoever over the Americans...

Though it may be that there is a precise definition, in spite
of this (or perhaps because of this) nobody other than a
copyright lawyer knows that that is. This becomes even
more complicated if the proposed license deviates at all
from the standard definition in an attempt to recognize or
allow informal use.

The impact of this reaches beyond an 'education only'
license. By now making it a requirement that a lawyer be
consulted, the ease of use which has come to be associated
with Creative Commons is lost.  Where Creative Commons
once meant that material could be used by anybody, it now
means that there are special user groups to which you may
or may not belong.

To reiterate:

- The 'educational institutions only' license is not needed,
despite speculation to the contrary, and

- Addition of an 'educational institutions only' license
weakens the concept of Creative Commons as a whole.

-- Stephen

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