Yesterday Scott Leslie noted that he hadn’t seen seen news of the BC Commons licence “make the rounds of the blogosphere”.
Today my short article on educational IP and BC Commons is being posted via UBC’s e-Strategy newsletter. I tried to lay out the basic problems regarding IP confusion, introduce Creative Commons, and finish up with the work that BCCampus is doing.
I’m grateful for the generous assistance from Paul Stacey, Director of Development for BCCampus — he not gave only a great virtual interview on very short notice, but also provided me with a wealth of background material. His own account of the BCCampus IP process is far more detailed than mine and has a richer discussion of the broader issues.
In a perfect world, it would be nice if we didn’t have to water down the CC approach (by limiting use to BC institutions, and allowing subsequent commercialization by copyright holders) for use in the BC post-secondary system. Stephen Downes has made some cogent arguments in this respect. But having personally witnessed Paul weather some blistering attacks from faculty and developers over the issue of sharing, I can attest that this half-step fills a necessary immediate need and is probably the best option we can realistically hope for right now. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that BCCampus is tying in a requirement for sharing as a condition for development funding — that’s a huge and very promising step, and hopefuly it will help create a more hospitable climate of exchange for the future.
And as Scott notes, BCCampus also deserves some kudos for sharing the products of their pricey legal consultation with the wider world.