Abstract: In 2015, Spain’s new copyright law entered into effect including many new provisions including one that requires Universities to pay Collecting Societies for using manuals and textbooks made available online in virtual campuses. This license cannot be waived and means that Universities have to pay even for works released under free licenses, such as Creative Commons, and for works already in the public domain. This weakens the protection offered by limits such as the one in favor of educational uses (art. 32 of the Spanish copyright act) and also reduces the public domain as it establishes unalienable licenses for content no longer in copyright.
Creative Commons USA and over 100 other groups have sent a letter to President Obama urging a policy to ensure that “educational materials created with federal funds… are made available to the public as Open Educational Resources to freely use, share, and build upon” through the use of open licenses. The letter further notes that “the global standard for public copyright licensing for copyrighted content is Creative Commons. Existing U.S. Government grant programs including the TAACCCT and First in the World Programs mentioned above, use the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY). Releasing materials under a standard license, such as CC-BY, allows for increased reuse and compatibility between materials produced by different institutions, including private charitable foundations and other national governments.”
[Timothy Vollmer, Creative Commons, Link, (CC-BY)] Today Creative Commons and 22 other organizations published a letter urging the publishing giant Elsevier to alter its newly revised policy regarding the sharing and hosting of academic articles so that it better supports access to scholarly research.
Elsevier’s new policy, announced 30 April 2015, is detrimental to article authors as well as those seeking access to these research papers.
[Cross posted from the CCUSA blog, Link (CC-BY)] In all my time with Creative Commons, I’ve come to see that support comes from people across a wide spectrum of creators. For some, the Creative Commons licenses and their related icons provide the vocabulary and the solidarity around the sharing that they would engage in over the Internet even if the licenses did not exist. For others, the licenses are needed to free users from copyright constraints that would otherwise inhibit or prohibit uses that the creator wants to promote.
[Cross-posted from Afro-Leo, Link (CC-BY)] A report entitled ‘Copyright policy and the right to science and culture’ authored by the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Farida Shaheed has been released (download it here, ref A/HRC/28/57 ).
The document summary reads: “In the present report, the Special Rapporteur examines copyright law and policy from the perspective of the right to science and culture, emphasizing both the need for protection of authorship and expanding opportunities for participation in cultural life. Recalling that protection of authorship differs from copyright protection, the Special Rapporteur proposes several tools to advance the human rights interests of authors. The Special Rapporteur also proposes to expand copyright exceptions and limitations to empower new creativity, enhance rewards to authors, increase educational opportunities, preserve space for non-commercial culture and promote inclusion and access to cultural works. An equally important recommendation is to promote cultural and scientific participation by encouraging the use of open licences, such as those offered by Creative Commons.”
[Creative Commons, Link (CC-BY)] At its heart, Creative Commons is a simple idea. It’s the idea that when people share their creativity and knowledge with each other, amazing things can happen.
It’s not a new idea. People have been adapting and building on each other’s work for centuries. Musicians sample beats from each other’s music. Artists create entirely new works from other people’s images. Teachers borrow each other’s activities and lesson plans. Scientists build off of each other’s results to make new discoveries.
[Cross posted from CCUSA, Link (CC-BY)] Today, Creative Commons and Creative Commons U.S.A. are sending a letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan supporting the Department of Education’s (DOE) adoption of the Hewlett Foundation’s definition of Open Educational Resources, and asking the Department to require open licenses for works funded by its grants.
The full letter is available here. An excerpt follows:
[Cross posted from the European Open Edu Policy Project, Link (CC-BY)] It is well known that the rules that allow for certain educational uses of copyrighted works under certain conditions without permission of the rights’ owners vary greatly between countries. But how different are those rules? And how difficult is to access those differences? Can a teacher with no legal background determine alone whether a certain use is allowed or not in his/her country?
[Cross posted from Creative Commons-USA, Link, (CC-BY)] Chairman Coble, Ranking Member Nadler, Chairman Goodlatte, Ranking Member Conyers, and members of the Subcommittee, my name is Michael Carroll, and I am a member of the faculty at American University Washington College of Law, where I direct the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property and serve as the Public Lead for Creative Commons USA. Creative Commons USA is the United States’ project that works under the terms of an agreement with Creative Commons, Inc., a global non-profit corporation headquartered in California. Creative Commons has agreements with projects in more than 70 countries through which the local project is authorized to represent Creative Commons at the national level. Creative Commons and Creative Commons USA have some experiences and legal tools that are relevant to the topics of today’s hearing.
[Timothy Vollmer, Open Policy Network, Link, (CC-BY)] Today we’re excited to announce the launch of the Open Policy Network. The Open Policy Network, or OPN for short, is a coalition of organizations and individuals working to support the creation, adoption, and implementation of policies that require that publicly funded resources are openly licensed resources. The website of the Open Policy Network is http://openpolicynetwork.org
Leaders in the Obama Administration, in state governments, and in corporate America have acknowledged the urgency of increasing access to higher education in the United States – particularly through community colleges. These leaders also recognize the importance of improving completion rates and educational outcomes for those who enroll.
As we come to the close of Open Education Week, it is now time for these leaders to focus attention, energy and resources on the most immediate opportunity to make progress toward these goals while also freeing up billions of dollars that can be redirected toward this progress. Make textbooks available to students for free or at very low marginal cost.