Categories
open content

FHSST Release 0

If only all first releases were as good as these… Mark Horner’s Free High School Science Texts has released version 0 of its materials. Wow! I think I know what the Open High School will be using when we open next year!

Hopefully Mark and his team will choose to migrate the license from the GFDL to CC By-SA now that the new version of the GFDL has made this possible. Otherwise remixing these materials is going to be a nightmare. Even if they become CC By-SA it will still be nigh unto impossible thanks to incompatibilities amongst CC’s own licenses (esp. CC By-SA and CC By-NC-SA). But we shall overcome…

UPDATE: Mark has written back to say that all contributors have agreed to relicensing all FHSST content CC-By!!!

Oh, happy day! Oh, happy day! / When licensing compatibility problems go away!

Categories
open content

GFDL and Wikipedia Relicensing

Version 1.3 of the GFDL was released today. Section 11 contains directions for Relicensing, giving “Massive Multiauthor Collaboration Sites” (why can’t Richard just call them wikis like everyone else?) like Wikipedia the option to change away from the GFDL and adopt CC-By-SA as their license. This is a glorious day for license incompatibility in the open content world, and one I had thought we might never see. Creative Commons also has coverage. Now the Wikipedia community just needs to choose/decide to relicense its work CC-By-SA.

What does it say about a license when it’s most anticipated new feature is a way to migrate away from it? 🙂

Categories
open content

Major (US) Court Victory for Open Licenses

As reported on Ars Technica, a recent United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decision has given some legal teeth to open licenses:

The lower court had found that redistributing software in violation of the terms of a free software license could constitute a breach of contract, but was not copyright infringement. The difference matters because copyright law affords much stronger remedies against infringement than does contract law. If allowed to stand, the decision could have neutered popular copyleft licenses such as the GPL and Creative Commons licenses. The district court decision was overturned on Wednesday by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Maybe this will finally quiet the “confused” people out there who think that those of us who support open licenses are anti-copyright. As pointed out by this case, open licenses depend heavily on copyright law to provide “incentives” for users to comply with the license and (as a last resort) enforcement mechanisms.