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Image courtesy of procsilas

Why not the Share Alike clause? Personally, I feel that’s a bit onerous - saying “I’ll share with you, as long as you adopt the exact philosophy toward sharing content that I do. Otherwise, forget it.” I think it’s a bit conceited to require anyone to adopt a particular license in order to use/reuse/remix/mashup my content (Norman, 2007).

You should choose the license that meets your preferences. The license is a statement as to what others may do with your work, so you should select a license that matches what you are happy for others to do with your work (Cultura Livre, n.d.).

If I had to choose between a license allowing all derivative works and a license allowing none, I'd certainly choose the former. (And I've done so; I use the CC-BY license for my blog and newsletter.) (Suber, 2007)

But because I appreciate what copyleft does to software quality and freedom, if I publish something for community development, I want to publish under a copyleft license. As I want to make a living from Free Culture, so [sic] I consider non-commercial terms harmful. Firstly, if I contribute to something with this license, I’ll be unable to use it at all to helping people through paid computer coaching. Secondly, non-commercial terms create a giant sandbox effect that really limits the Free Culture I can draw on to help people (Understanding Limited, 2007).

The 'open' in OER doesn’t just mean, "Take this for free". It means that if other people think they can improve it, they can lift the cover and change the entire contents and behaviour of the resource (Dewis, 2008).

CC-BY is the most simple to understand and easy to honour license available on CC. (Public Domain is not something commonly recognised outside the USA). If we [Otago Polytechnic] had added other restrictions like NC or SA, then we would somehow have to monitor that, and manage what resources were what. With CC BY as our default, at least we know that anything originating from us simply requires attribution and nothing more; that’s pretty easy to ascertain and should be familiar practice to educational practitioners (Park and Blackall, 2008).

So what’s the solution? My recommendation is much like Möller’s — use the least restrictive license that you can. But I say “much like Möller’s” because my sense is that he’d really like to see the NC license never used at all, and I believe, given the wide range of creators using CC licenses, there are important cases where a NC license makes sense (Lessig, 2005).

My objection to commercial use is that it is a business model supported by denying access to resources. If a resource must be purchased before it may be used, then it is not free in either sense. A person does not have the freedom to use, modify, etc., something he or she must buy (Downes, 2008).


Cultura Livre. (n.d.) Cultura Livre FAQ. Retrieved April 11, 2008, from
Dewis, L. (Last Updated 2008, April 14). OER stories:OpenLearn, The Open University. Retrieved May 14, 2008, from
Downes, S. (2008 May 30). Another Kick at the 'Free Content' Cat. Half an Hour. Retrieved June 24, 2008, from
Lessig, L. (2005, December 7). CC in Review: Lawrence Lessig on Important Freedoms. Creative Commons. Retrieved May 21, 2008 from
Norman, D. (2007, December 12). On Creative Commons Licensing. Retrieved April 11, 2008, from
Park, J. and Blackall, L. (2008, April 22). 'Attribution Only' as Default Policy—Otago Polytechnic on the How and Why of CC BY. ccLearn. Retrieved May 21, 2008 from
Suber, P. (2007, November 4). Open Access News. Retrieved April 11, 2008, from
Understanding Limited. (2007, March 27). What is the best Free Culture license? Understanding Design and Computers. Retrieved April 11, 2008, from