Progressing in this mooc on Open Learning, the course now turns its attention to licensing by referring to David Wiley’s 4 R’s Framework:
- Reuse – the right to reuse the content in its unaltered / verbatim form (e.g., make a backup copy of the content)
- Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
- Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
- Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)
I’d like to add a fifth, or, in true Physics style, a “zeroth” R of reuse, based upon my own experience:
- Ripoff – the unchallengeable right of anyone beyond litigation to just steal your stuff and use it or pass it off as their own.
It comes before all the others because it overrides them all. Only rarely have I ever successfully challenged the leeching or theft of my images and content by other publishers. The most recent instance was in fact by a well-known Scottish University who made unauthorised use of an image I owned. After some serious pursuing of the case, they finally paid a royalty fee. The usual outcome is deafening silence.
Having said that, I’ve been more often flattered when somebody takes a post or article, photographs included, and replicates it in their own context, especially if that context involves translation. I had an article on measuring the speed of light in the kitchen replicated with permission which is now one of several versions of this resource on the web. There are other versions around in other languages.
My default position for copyright is to assert “all rights reserved” in the hope that those who would use my material would do so only after having sought and obtained permission, but if I had to choose an open license for OER, it would be Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 UK: Scotland. The rationale would be that (i) I live and work in Scotland and I like Scottish Law, (ii) I don’t mind other people making use of my work, (iii) provided that they don’t make money out of it (I don’t) and (iv) they pass on the same obligations to their users.