What is wrong with customized licenses?

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Nothing is inherently wrong with licensing your works how you wish. However, if you are interested in creating Open Educational Resources and making them available to a broad global audience, then it is likely that having a custom license will actually undermine your goals. Your custom license will likely include terms that do not align with terms used in standard licenses, such as CC licenses. For example, if you were to make your works available for "educational use" it would not necessarily be clear, without further definition, what you mean by that term. Further, even if you clarify and define certain terms like “educational”, having this restriction means that your resources may not be used with any of the many wonderful resources available under Creative Commons licenses, or other custom licenses for that matter. When licenses are incompatible, the result is a group of educational resources that cannot work together because each licensor has defined differently what is permitted and isn’t permitted. The result is that the most anyone can do with your work is access and cite it, which is pretty much what people can generally do anyway under standard all-rights-reserved copyright. So then you’ve just spent a whole lot of time and trouble writing up terms that effectively function like regular copyright. The resources are there, and they are accessible, but little else can be done with them to produce meaningful collaborative work. So, if you are going to put in the effort to change the default rules for your works, why not make them more user-friendly, rather than less? Using a standardized public license will accomplish this.

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