Why CC BY for the TAACCCT Federal Grant Program

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CC BY maximizes impact of DOL funded materials by clearly communicating rights

  • In order to be used dependably and reliably by teachers, businesses, or education institutions, publicly funded materials must be clearly licensed and marked as such in order to communicate the rights available to reusers.
  • Content creators retain copyright; CC licenses are built on top of and encourage respect for copyright and copyright holders; and, CC licenses are non-exclusive.
  • CC BY is the gold standard for communicating the DOL’s policy that the public should have access to newly created content produced with DOL TAACCCT funds.
  • CC licenses have been adopted as the institutional and governmental standard for key educational initiatives around the world, and similarly for public sector information, scientific publishing, and works curated by cultural heritage institutions such as national museums and libraries.
  • CC licenses embody established technical standards that allow teachers, schools, publishers and others to find openly licensed materials using search engines such as Google.

CC BY enables innovative and entrepreneurial uses of DOL funded materials

  • CC BY gives individuals, nonprofits and businesses permission to use and build upon material created with public funds, so long as the creator is credited.
  • Innovative use of these materials may be made by any teacher, parent, and school district, nationwide and beyond. The materials will be available for reuse and value-add by creative entrepreneurs, education start-ups, and traditional commercial businesses.
  • CC BY license does not restrict commercialization of the open content. Commercial publishers can take all new content created with grant funds and change it, make it better, add value, and sell it.

CC BY is compatible with established policy and practice for OER

Publicly funded educational materials released under CC BY can be easily and seamlessly used in the many systems where CC licenses are already embraced, e.g.:

    • OpenCourseWare at dozens of major universities
    • innovative K-12 and community college initiatives in states like Virginia and Washington
    • education businesses and open textbook publishers such as Flat World Knowledge
    • leading foundations that support the creation of educational materials such as Hewlett and Gates

The public deserves free access to educational materials it funds

  • DOL is exercising rational, responsible public policy that more efficiently uses public tax dollars to improve education opportunities for community college students and displaced workers.
  • The public should not be required to pay twice to access and use educational materials, first via the funding of the research and development of educational resources using their tax dollars, and then again when they purchase materials like textbooks they helped fund or when they pay a license fee to a grant recipient to use the materials.
  • "Taxpayer-funded educational resources should be open educational resources."
  • This fundamental principle has already been validated and embraced through initiatives such as the National Institute of Health’s Public Access Policy, where the final peer reviewed journal manuscripts resulting from NIH funding must be deposited in a publicly accessible digital archive so that anyone can access them.

The government may set the license terms for content created using its funds

  • Just as in the private publishing industry, a funding body is entitled to set commercial terms as a condition of funding.
  • A grant recipient may choose, or not, to accept those terms when funding is offered; the choice is theirs to make, as they can accept the funding and the accompanying terms, or decline of their own free will if they disagree with the terms offered.
  • The government should be granted a wide berth in setting the terms for the copyright of the materials its funding generates.