Mar 192014
 

flag-russiaLinar Khalitov, Wikimedia Russia, Link (CC-BY)

On March 12, 2014, the Federal Law that introduced changes to the prime source of Russian civil law, the Civil Code, was signed. This sign-off brought to life many amendments that Russian members of Wikipedia have been eager to see for a long time. Continue reading »

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Mar 142014
 
Photo by Ito (CC-BY-2.0)

Photo by Ito (CC-BY-2.0)

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. Continue reading »

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Mar 112014
 

botero[Reposted from Creative Commons Affiliates Blog, Link (CC-BY)]On Thursday, March 14 Fundación Karisma, in collaboration with UNESCO and Creative Commons will launch the report “Public Expenditure On Education in Latin America: Can It Serve the Paris Open Educational Resources Declaration’s Purposes?”

“Human rights are not left at the door when we enter the online world.” This is the premise on which we embark on a new research project related to one of the fundamental rights under threat in a networked society: access to knowledge. Continue reading »

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Mar 102014
 

oew2014_banner[Cross posted from CCUSA, Link (CC-BY)] Today, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition organized a Congressional briefing on Open Educational Resources (OER) for Open Education Week. One speaker, Daniel DeMarte, described the experience that Tidewater Community College has had in rolling out it’s “Z-Degree” – an associate degree in business administration that uses a curriculum composed of entirely of OER. Continue reading »

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Mar 032014
 

logo_CC_OER_EU1[CC European Open Education Policy Project, Link, (CC-BY)] On the 18th of February, Creative Commons organized a debate on „Really Open Education. Domestic Policies for Open Educational Resources”, hosted by Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein, MEP. The meeting brought together almost 40 experts and stakeholders from a range of educational projects, national schooling systems, and national and international non-governmental organizations across Europe. Continue reading »

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Feb 032014
 

durbin-frankenTextbook costs are often substantial for stunts and can be a barrier to attaining a college education. According to the college Board, the average student spent $1,200 on college books and supplies during the 2012-13 academic year.  The price of new textbooks has increased 82% over the last decade according to GAO, and yet, textbook costs are one of the most overlooked impediments to college affordability and access.

The Affordable College Textbook Act (S.1704) would address this problem by providing grants to colleges and universities to create and expand the use of open textbooks.

Click here for the full letter.

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Jan 172014
 

copyright-square-1[Cross posted from CCUSA, Link (CC-BY)] Much of what we hear about the globalization of copyright law around the world does not favor users. The dominant trend of lengthening terms, increasing criminalization and “deterrent” penalties and expanding third party liability has the intent and effect of privatizing more and more of the public domain. But one trend moves in the opposite the direction – the recent shift toward a global expansion of fair use.

The term “fair use” is often used to refer the specific limitation and exception to copyright contained in the US Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 107. But it has also come to have a broader meaning Continue reading »

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Jan 142014
 

creative commons logo[Tim Vollmer. Reposted from Creative Commons, Link (CC-BY)]  The public domain is the DNA of creativity. Whereby current copyright law requires permission in order to use a work, the public domain is a copyright-free zone whereby anyone can use the work for any purpose without restriction under copyright law. One way works rise into the public domain is when the copyright protection term expires. Over the years, copyright terms have been extended again and again, making it really difficult for creative works to enter the public domain. While most early copyright terms lasted only a few years, a majority of copyright terms today last for the duration of the life of the author + 50-100 years. Increasing copyright terms have stymied creativity, drastically raised the prices of books, and exacerbated the orphan works problem (where authors of works can no longer be located to ask permission to use a work). Continue reading »

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Nov 202013
 
Photo by Ito (CC-BY-2.0)

Photo by Ito (CC-BY-2.0)

[Creative Commons U.S.A. Link (CC-BY)] Yesterday, Representatives Hinojosa and Miller introduced the Affordable College Textbook Act. The text mirrors that of the Senate bill introduced last week by Senators Durbin and Franken (see CCUSA’s statement on the Senate bill here).

The Affordable College Textbook Act would provide funding for the creation of textbooks, which would be made available to the public under open licenses, allowing students and educators to “access, reproduce, publicly perform, publicly display, adapt, distribute, and otherwise use the work and adaptations of the work for any purpose, conditioned only on the requirement that attribution be given to authors as designated.” Continue reading »

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Nov 142013
 

open-edu-300-x-200px-copy[Reposted from CC-USA, Link (CC-BY)] Senators Dick Durbin and Al Franken today introduced the Affordable College Textbook Act, which directs the Secretary of Education to fund the creation of college textbooks and materials to be made available under open licenses.  The licenses will allow students and educators to “access, reproduce, publicly perform, publicly display, adapt, distribute, and otherwise use the work and adaptations of the work for any purpose, conditioned only on the requirement that attribution be given to authors as designated.” Continue reading »

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Nov 062013
 

unescoiite[UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education]  A new country report on Open Educational Resources in Poland has been published by IITE. The authors Kamil Sliwowski and Karolina Grodecka describe the national educational policy and the structure of the recently reformed educational system of Poland, national programmes and projects aimed at digitization of schools, top-down and bottom-up activities in the development of Open Educational Resources (OER). Continue reading »

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Oct 212013
 

sean - 150x150Creative Commons, the global network of non-profit organizations best known for their promotion of standard-form copyright licenses that allow creators to voluntarily waive certain exclusive rights and share their content more easily with others, has thrown its weight into the global push to expand users rights in copyright reform. Last week, the organization, through Creative Commons Headquarters and blessed by its Board of Directors, released a statement endorsing “ongoing efforts to reform copyright law to strengthen users’ rights and expand the public domain.”

(See also, blogs by local affiliates in Poland, the Netherlands, and Ecuador, blogs by Tim Volmer, and the EFF; and a news story in the National Journal.) Continue reading »

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