Category: Why Open?

Gratis/Libre/5 freedoms/CC licences

Even though I work in the OER space with WikiEducator on an almost daily basis I have to admit that I continue to struggle with some of the finer bits of CC licenses and the whole balance between the various “frees”.

I think the distinction made between “free beer vs free speech” made in theĀ  “Gratis versus libre” article from Wikipedia really helped me out quite a lot. I’m starting to think of it less like a black and white thing and more like a series of interconnected steps or like nesting dolls (or Venn diagram-like circles).

One of the problemsĀ  I’ve come across in my work on wikieducator is how to deal with some of these nesting issues: we had a screen shot created by a contractor (so he’s the author right?), on the screen was Powerpoint (so the author is Microsoft?), in the Powerpoint was a CC-BY-SA licensed photo (hoo boy! – is this guy the author?).. we’ve not really gotten a clear answer on this and it feels like we never will. What we reckon is that it was created by the contractor, we have to mention MS, and mention we’re using it for education AND say who the photo is by…

For my personal stuff (this blog, for instance) I think I’d go with Creative Commons License but I honestly am not totally sure that this is the best choice. For instance would this preclude someone quoting something I wrote here in a newspaper article?


An introduction and some thoughts

Hi/Bonjour/Kia Ora,

I’m Cameron Campbell, I’m a Montrealer who is currently living and working in New Zealand. For three years leading up to this past November I worked in Christchurch at Lincoln University and since November I work at Otago Polytechnic in Dunedin; at both institutions my role has been as an instructional designer/edtech resource. Lincoln has just announced an open policy for it’s research and other resources and Otago Polytech has a CC/Open as default policy.

That done I guess what I think open means is shareable, reusable, free (or almost) of restriction for reuse and free (or largely – I have some internal debate about this). I guess my thoughts on this have evolved greatly over the last few years but at the end of the day I’ve always worked for publicly funded institutions so I find the idea that we’re locking away things that the public has paid for us to do to be quite odd.

Looking forward to reading what everyone else thinks.