OpenContent is closing down

I guess blogs are places where people scoop each other all the time, but since no one reads mine it won?t seem like so much of a scoop. The OpenContent Project is closing its doors.

In many ways it causes me great pain to say it, but think about it: in 1998 there was literally no one doing open licenses specifically for content. The Open Content License filled a certain need. 1999 collaborations with O?Reilly, Eric Raymond, and others produced the Open Publication License which continues to be adopted by commercial publishers, making good quality, well-edited book content available online for free. But when Larry and others came along with the Creative Commons project I thought, ?Wow. A lawyer who really gets it. His team is going to do a far better job of creating bulletproof licenses than I and my sometime collaborators will.?

I?ve struggled with what to do since having that realization, but have come to realize that the best thing for the community would be for me to encourage people to use the Creative Commons licenses. It?s tough to let my pet project drift off to eternal sleep, but people will be better served by using the (CC) licenses and infrastructure.

Now I?m not getting out of the open content game. I?m joining (CC) to work on licenses for specifically educational content which (as an Instructional Designer and Technologist) is where my heart has always been anyway. We?ll also be working on ways to express the Open Publication License in (CC) terms so that people can continue to do the things that we hope they will do with their publications. In short, I think this move creates a great benefit for everyone involved in the end goal: open access to educational content and learning support for everyone who can get on a wire. I suppose I?ll finally get around to writing the Manifesto for this someday soon.