Copyright on WikiEducator

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(Comment.gif: Special thanks to John Petroff of PEOI, for helping me to get my mind around how I can write this up, so that others may benefit - the wiki way! Randy Fisher 16:10, 10 December 2009 (UTC))

Opening Remarks

Releasing knowledge objects under an explicit open license, and compatible with open standards, allows content to be a re-usable, and co-evolvable building block that is:

  • Translateable into other file formats, languages, etc
  • Recombinable with other many other content objects, in many ways, on many other platforms
  • Extendable though new contributions that are also released in the same manner.

It can be asserted that the total value objects released under an open license, and open standards is exponentially higher over the lifecycle of object than comparable proprietary content or objects.

Icon objectives.jpg

Action Items

Copyright on WikiEducator

Content on WikiEducator is CC-BY or CC-BY-SA.

  • WE believe in a person's right to make a living; thus WE does NOT use a non-commercial clause.
  • WE subscribe to the Free Cultural Works definition.)
  • WE are a tightly-focused Community of Educators (not a general public wiki). - 72% of our membership are educators, and the average age is 45+. See our Survey of New Account Holders (August 2009 (pdf).
  • Our WE Community of Educators engage with, and cluster around OER projects because of the opportunity to adapt, re-use and remix content for their situational and cultural contexts. This is why we say that open education content is sustainable and renewable.
  • (Comment.gif: WikiAmbassadors provide a Community of Support around Open Education Resources (OERs) development, by clustering around a project, and adding value to it. WE believe this contributes to OER sustainability.)

Copyright: Philosophical Differences

  • There are many people and organizations who take a philosophical not legal stand about content on their site.
  • A Non-Commercial license does not necessarily mean how it sounds or appears.

(Comment.gif: At OpenEd 2009 Vancouver, Stephen Downes in conversation with David Wiley explained this eloquently as Commercial vs. NonCommercial OER Production])

A Workaround Solution

A content author (i.e., educational institution, individual) has the right to choose different (and less stringent) licenses for different versions of his/her content that can be used for different purposes). A good place to start is a pilot project on WikiEducator.

Thus, a content author may choose a specific copyright statement for its own site, and another copyright statement for OER collaborating with WikiEducator.

Many educational institutions (such as Otago Polytechnic below) choose to license their works in WikiEducator as CC-BY and receive appropriate recognition and attribution. When a derivative work is made by someone in the WikiEducator community, the changed content becomes CC-BY-SA. Individuals may also choose to do the same.


Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand
Professional Educational Organization International (PEOI)

What's in it for me (WIFM)?

(Comment.gif: Thanks to Richard Solomon of University of Maryland for asking me this question - so I could write something up to help others. Randy Fisher 11:20, 4 February 2010 (UTC))

Often, we are asked by individuals and institutions, why they should participate - and who raise their concerns that people will 'steal' their content and contributions. We acknowledge this risk, but believe the direct benefits of participation and peer collaboration in an international and digitally-networked community more than outweigh the risks of working alone.

Key Messages

  1. As we are a community of educators, we know that few educators' texts and materials become 'bestsellers' -- A bestseller usually means the opportunity to extend one's reputation, 2,500-5,000 texts sold (i.e., not a windfall and lots of texts in the basement);
  2. We stand firmly on the right of our users to make a living (including you!) -- This includes paid and 'value-added services' around their subject matter expertise, and their educational content and materials (i.e., curriculum design and content development, presentations, consulting, mentoring and coaching, etc.) For example, a person who wants to become a better tennis player, usually does so through purchasing expert mentoring and coaching services vs. simply reading a book or using free content.
  3. Think of ikiEducator as an opportunity to increase and leverage your global reputation;
  4. Consider WikiEducator as one of your key business development and public relations networks.

Benefits Far Outweigh the Risks

When you develop and share your content openly in WikiEducator, you receive:

  • Access to a 24/7/365 technical community of support
  • Access to an agile network of thought / action leaders in education, blended (e)learning and digital literacy
  • International recognition exposure and profile
  • An opportunity to easily collaborate with peers internationally.
  • An opportunity to collaborate with national and international partners on the development of joint venture funding proposals (see: Open Education Resources Foundation)
  • An opportunity to leverage the international credibility and performance of a top 100,000 website in 115 countries, with more than 10 million hits per month.
Time-to-Market Advantage
  • We have evidence that you can accelerate your own content development by 50% or more, through individual and group collaboration, and access to timely and relevant feedback. This translates to a significant competitive advantage.
  • The ability to easily revise and update your own learning materials.
  • The ability to easily migrate / export your content to any content management system - simple or complex - so that it is NOT locked in, and always useable;
  • The ability to achieve higher search engine rankings (i.e.,than you would be able to achieve on your own);
  • Access to a cost-effective production environment (that can mirror your existing website)
  • An opportunity to develop and enhance your reputation (in open source communities, and within our global network of educators and affiliated projects including Wikipedia, WikiResearcher, Connexions, MITE's Hippocampus and NROC Network, Open Texbooks);
  • Your contributions will be 'noticed' by our WikiAmbassadors, who will seek ways to link you with others, and help you achieve your goals;
  • Access to a free wiki environment (for institutions, this is estimated at a $14,000 savings per year)
  • no maintenance or data storage costs