Case Studies/On Line Opinion
Banner image (c) On Line Opinion, used with permission
As a not-for-profit we are happy for work to be disseminated widely. We don’t pay authors for their material directly, but one of the benefits that they get is publicity. The more we can provide the better rewarded they are, and the more likely to submit future material to us. — Graham Young, Chief Editor, On Line Opinion
On Line Opinion is an e-journal that has been online since April 1999. Its stated aim is to ‘provide a forum for public social and political debate about current Australian issues’ and seeks to achieve this goal by publishing articles from a wide range of contributors. The current Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his predecessors, John Howard and Paul Keating, are among those who have featured in the pages of On Line Opinion. The journal is not limited to only political debate; articles are published on economics, sport, technology and the environment.
On Line Opinion is based in Brisbane and was founded by Graham Young, who, as the journal’s Chief Editor and publisher runs the day-to-day operation of the site full-time with Editor Susan Prior. Owned by the Australian public company National Forum Ltd, the journal operates on a not-for-profit basis which means that contributors are not paid for their articles. Graham Young observes in an email interview with Steven Gething from Creative Commons Australia in March 2008, that ‘Advertising and sponsorship revenues are providing enough to pay for other salaries and infrastructure.’
On Line Opinion applies the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic licence to submitted articles, but not to the remainder of the website which reserves all copyright.
Graham Young offers his experience with the site’s choice of Creative Commons licence to date:
- ‘We’re happy with the way the licence works. The major benefit to us is that there is a common copyright agreement available for those wanting to republish. This should mean that it is easier for not-for-profits and private individuals to deal with material.’
Having first heard about Creative Commons licences from the Australian research team at the Queensland University of Technology, Graham Young explains what motivated his choice of licence:
- ‘It gave us an easy way of signaling to non-commercial users that they could re-use the material, as long as they acknowledged us. We hoped that this would encourage others to use our material and build awareness of the site. We also hoped that it would cut down on the amount of work involved in explaining and negotiating with potential republishers.’
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