On the use of a BY-SA Creative Commons licence

Reading  the Implications of the NonCommercial (NC) Restriction for Educational Content this morning reminded me of a discussion at an OER workshop in November, during which the topic of which license to use naturally cropped up.

Skipping the discussions about the other licenses, the interesting point of discussion for me centred around the use of the licenses BY-NC-SA and ‘BY-SA‘.  The general consensus amongst the group was that ‘NC’ was used to stop the commercial world from looting from us.

However it was pointed out that in order for any item to be open then perhaps we need to revisit our thoughts on ‘NC’ and Derek Keats, writing on the use of ‘NC’ makes the following point that resurfaced the discussion for me:

“It is restricted culture. It is freer than it would be if it were subject to full copyright, but it is not free, and I am not free to use it to create free content. To use an analogy, it is free culture to the same degree that an inmate in a minimum security prison is freer than an inmate in a maximum security prison, but it is not free”.

the southern african journal of information and communication issue 7 2006 p77 keats, D

During the informal discussions it dawned on some of the group that perhaps something isn’t really open if it tied up with an ‘NC’ license.

So it was proposed that perhaps the use of the BY-SA is more appropriate as, and this is when the penny dropped – the use of ‘SA’ obliges  any content including commercial content to also be licensed as BY-SA, preventing pure commercial use without too becoming part of a creative commons license.  Thus, perhaps BY-SA is a better way to be more open with your content.

Being quite green with OER, It is a view that I am certainly leaning towards as my starting point until proven otherwise.

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