What is Alternative Licensing?

As new forms of publication and scholarship begin to take hold, the academic world is examining standard forms of licensing and rights management and finding them lacking. While current copyright and intellectual property laws focus on restricting use of materials, authors are beginning to explore new models that center on enabling use while still protecting the academic value of a publication. Some rights are still reserved, but some are proactively licensed at publication time to encourage re-use. These approaches make it clear which rights are licensed for various uses, removing the barrier of copyright and smoothing the way for others to access and use one’s work.

Publishers, authors, and institutions are exploring a variety of flexible approaches to licensing and rights management. One such approach is that taken by Creative Commons, an organization that supplies easy-to-understand, “some rights reserved” licenses for creative work. Authors simply review the list of rights they can grant or restrict, make their choices, and receive a link to a written license that spells out how their work may be used. The licenses work within current copyright laws but clearly state how a work may be used. Copyleft is another alternative approach; often used in open source software development, copyleft describes how work can be used and also governs how derivative works are to be licensed as well. Models like these are beginning to gain acceptance among artists, photographers, and musicians; scholarly papers and reports are increasingly released under alternative licenses. Some organizations, such as the New Media Consortium, have made it a policy to release all their work under licenses that facilitate sharing and reuse.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • - Lilian.Starobinas Lilian.Starobinas Sep 7, 2012 Alternative Licensing is straight connected to the issue of open content. It's difficult and dangerous for teachers and students to keep producing openly when you are in risk of breaking copyright laws. A culture of alternative licensing is crucial to increase the creation and remix of good educational resources.

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • - Lilian.Starobinas Lilian.Starobinas Sep 7, 2012 Digital technology turns it easy the creation of multimidia educational resources. This is a great opportunity to put together and give a fresh glance at poetry, music, painting, different kinds of expression that historically formed our culture. When you have restrictive licenses, you close the acess to excerpts that are national culture patrimony . This is happening in Brazil with different authors, whose inheritors forbid the use at reasonable fees. Changes on the Laws are on sight in the country, but resistances are present as well.

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

  • - Lilian.Starobinas Lilian.Starobinas Sep 7, 2012 Digital Technology foments a participatory culture, supporting the creation of new products from the remix of other cultural components. Remix is already popular in cultural creation, and is clearly a cultural sign of our times at the social networks. Bringing these practices to school is a way of expressing ideas in channels that are meaningful for our students.

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • add your response here