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28 March 2007 / erikduval

James Boyle

James Boyle made some good points about the Creative Commons initiative this morning:

  • It is important to think about copyright when making new material. If not, you have to clear copyright some later time. CC will be developing guidelines to assist with this process.
  • CC licenses are not the only relevant ones, so they need to be legally interoperable with for instance the Free Documentation License used in Wikipedia. We need to avoid a proliferation of license variants, because it becomes too complicated to work with them, and to mix materials that have different licenses attached to them, without going through a complex and lengthy procedure.
  • The essence of the non-commercial clause is whether the primary purpose is to make money off the content. Many questions after the talk focused on this clause, which is probably being used too often: there is much less hesitation about allowing commercial use of open source software like Apache or Firefox…
  • Technical interoperability needs to be addressed: this includes issues cause by different formats that do not interoperate and thus prevent remix, and the lack of metadata, which make it difficult to find the stuff. (These are obviously the issues that we work on most…)
  • If we address interoperability, then we will actually start a much larger OER movement, much in the way that the translations of CC licenses helped to form a commons community that then went on to put material on-line etc.
  • James believes in the importance of digital rights expression (as in the “take one” note on a newspaper stand), but wants to stay far from Digital Rights Management and enforcement (as in a newspaper stand that would slap your hand if you take two copies). I strongly agree.

This was a really good talk, without any powerpoint or other technical assistance – a passionate person speaking from the heart on a really important topic: what else can you ask for on a Wednesday morning?

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