UPDATE: This is in response to Stephen’s comments on my last post. If I had a dime for every time I titled an entry like this… 🙂 Stephen, it’s nice to have you back.
This article seems to still take the point of view of republishers or educators.
Yes, I am an educator, and this article is written from my perspective. In fact, I titled it *My Current View* on the CC-NC Licensing Option Controversy in OCWs. 🙂 I’m not apologetic at all about this. I want to participate in the work of expanding educational opportunity, and I can only do it as an educator. That’s what I am.
The greatest beneficiaries of open access will be students and learners – people who want to read or use the materials in order to learn, not people who want to republish them for their own personal gain.
Of course. I would augment this statement by saying that many students and learners will benefit because the materials will be adopted and used by teachers and faculty. Educators do have *some* impact – even if limited – on students and learners.
It is true that most corporate – and even some non-profit – entities wonâ€™t use material stamped with a â€˜NCâ€™ clause. Big deal. Who cares?
I care. We are on a *very* slippery slope the day we begin judging some people or organizations as being worthy of our help and others as unworthy. If someone else feels qualified to make that call, I suppose they can. I certainly am not qualified – I’ll stick to trying to be helpful to everyone I can.
No student working on their own, blogging content, creating mash-ups, or sharing files would ever confuse themselves with a commercial entity, and no such student would be deterred by the â€˜NCâ€™ clause. We donâ€™t need to know exactly where the fine line is. The important thing is to get out of this producer-consumer mentality. CC-NC is about sharing in a non-commercial community, a network of learners, not content producers.
If no one is producing content, what is being shared in this non-commercial community? What materials are being shared and studied by the network of learners if there are no content producers? Or is the point that we should work to exclude professionally produced materials from legally and freely circulating within the network, and only allow the sharing of materials produced by amateurs? Why is that a good thing? Why should we discriminate against educators and others who produce educational content for a living? This is would be a blatant case of “discrimination against a field of endeavor,” a definite no-no according to the Open Source Definition.
This, in my view, is the big danger of relying on publishers and industry in general for any aspect of open access and open learning – the danger of becoming bogged down in conditions and arguments that revolve around their needs and interests, the danger of turning what should be free into something that is (in perhaps everything but name) a commercial enterprise.
How does “allowing” people like me to participate in an ecology of sharing equate to reliance on publishers and industry? If some of the content circulating in the network is produced by educators, why is that a problem? Even with the 2500 or so courses worth of CC-licensed material in the university OpenCourseWares, the *overwhelming* majority of CC-licensed content in the world comes from blogs, Flickr, and other sources like those that Stephen mentions above. How is it that, by sharing my course materials in a freely available OCW, I’m participating in a commercial enterprise?