#whyopen: Open Content

Why Open, David Wiley tells us about the pragmatic ideals behind Open Content.

As I cleaned the pantry to the sounds of this #whyopen video, the following salient points were scribbled into my notebook:

  • David Wiley seems like a decent bloke
  • he takes a pragmatic rather than moral approach to Open Content, unlike the Free Culture Movement
  • things were pretty much OK before countries became signatories to the Berne Convention
  • now anything we create is instantly copyrighted and to share work we have to give permission
  • it you want to share your work with others you must go out of your way to make it happen
  • we need to focus on “Open” now because of the Berne Convention, if we don’t we are violating each other’s copyright
  • the term “Open Content” describes copyrightable work that is suitably licensed, enabling us to engage in these 5R activities: Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix and Redistribute
  • if you have a creative work that has a copyright licence granting you the 5R permissions, then it’s appropriate to call that work “Open Content”
  • the new R refers to RETAIN…it protects the other 4Rs by giving us permission to retain a copy of the work (otherwise we couldn’t reuse, revise, remix or redistribute)
  • an Open Licence is all about undoing copyright restrictions
  • I’m not certain about this, but I think David’s goldfish own’s the copyright to his crayon doodles
  • there may be additional restrictions to the 5Rs, e.g attribution requirements, commercial use etc
  • the meaning of “fair use” is a bit dodgy in the eyes of the law
  • “Openness” is an attitude more likely to be adopted by others if you begin the conversation around what people care about…such as affordability, social-justice, equity etc
  • people need to see the value of “Open” rather than just being told to comply with the rules
  • start showing teachers the value of using other people’s work, give examples
  • free vs open depends on your “politics” (as in Open Content vs Open Culture)
  • not all “Open” movements have the 5Rs pertaining to “Open Content” e.g Open Access is a 3R movement (you can’t change or remix yet)
  • the next interesting frontier of “Openness” is Open Competencies
  • virtues such as “Openness” and “Connectedness” can be taken to extremes, better to use strategically to support learning goals
  • curation is valuable
  • Google Scholar…it is a direct measure of the impact of our work in the field

Thanks for facilitating the Google Hangout Christina, a great learning experience.


Source: Biodiversity Heritage Library