Persuading the White House that When You Buy One, You Should Get (At Least) One

This week a coalition of almost 100 organizations, including Lumen Learning, called on President Obama to take executive action to ensure that publicly funded educational resources are open educational resources.

To my mind this is one of the most blindingly obvious policy changes needed in Washington – on par with other desperately needed changes like campaign finance reform. Rather than re-explain why this is true, I’ll reuse this brief video I made for Open Education Week several years ago. In the video I explain why all publicly funded educational resources should be openly licensed. The video uses research articles as its primary example, but the logic applies to videos, textbooks, curricula, simulations, and all other educational materials created with public funds.

I was very happy to see the Open Education Group’s Review Project included in the letter’s list of evidence for why this policy change should be made. It’s good to know the work we’re doing is making a difference.

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  • scktt

    Thank you for doing this. The US Agency for International Development is in the process of setting required CC-BY licenses for its educational materials, which seems in line with what the letter suggests. I am interested to know if the signatories of this letter discussed whether it might not be preferable to argue for federally-funded works to be classified as “US Government Works” and therefore non-copyrightable altogether. Though likely only applicable to works wholly funded with federal dollars, wouldn’t this be preferable in the long run? If CC-BY becomes the standard for all federally funded works, including the provisions for web access for such materials, it would seem to me that attribution will become an increasingly lengthy and complicated endeavor as the quantity and composition of derivative works grows and grows. Wouldn’t it be easier to promote the removal of copyright from federally funded works altogether?