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Re: [Fsuk-manchester] Becta's Open Source Schools "Innovation Seminar"

From: Robert Burrell Donkin
Subject: Re: [Fsuk-manchester] Becta's Open Source Schools "Innovation Seminar"
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 2009 13:05:21 +0100

On Thu, Oct 15, 2009 at 12:29 PM, Tim Dobson <address@hidden> wrote:
> I have some answers. These are the plain answers without my opinion. I'm a
> bit busy right now listening. :)
> Robert Burrell Donkin wrote:
>> On Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 9:29 PM, Tim Dobson <address@hidden> wrote:
>>> Is the proposed "National Digital Resource Bank" - being built by a north
>>> west based company going to be a sham or really useful? According to a
>>> leaflet I managed to dig out it said it was going to be Creative Commons
>>> licenced but fail to say which licence, which makes that assertion almost
>>> useless.
>> +1
>> license clarity is really crucial
>> it's probably worthwhile asking about license compatibility
> Content added by Local Education Authorities, Schools etc will be licenced
> by default as CC-BY-NC-SA

bah humbug

good intentions ruined by bad ignorance: not really open content

do they realise that CC-BY-NC-SA is such a poor license that CC
were/are considering pulling it?

the problem is that no-commercial is not defined: are you allowed to
change for the cost of providing a copy? Is the ISP allow to charge
for the bandwidth use to down? Does this mean that non-profits can
sell copies? Can a self employed individual copy it?

the FSF did a good job with the GPL in many ways, and their selling
clause was way ahead of the curve. that's why the rest of FOSS adopted
reciprocity to replace the old fashioned "no-commercial" terms.

you need to ask them if they are going to adopt additional licensing
terms to ensure that people can be sure what 'no commercial' means in
this context. AIUI the modern way is a no-enforcement covenant

> Content added by other people may be differently but it will be clearly
> listed on the download page.
> They are very clear that they want "open content licences" - don't ask me
> what that *actually* means but they say "sharing" is key.

but adopting CC-BY-NC-SA prevents this in the long run

what agreement do they have with the contributors?

are they using copyright assignment (as the FSF does) or non-exclusive
sublicense (as Apache does)? and do they understand the consequences
of this choice?

> All content is taken in and is Quality Assessed, tagged and mapped etc by
> the administrators.
>> "The National Digital Resource Bank is set to become the largest
>> project in UK Education. Using a licence free product developed in
>> Spain. ndrb will provide Local Authorities with the largest collection
>> of open content available that is compatible with all commonly used
>> Learning Platforms."
>> huh?
>> "licence free product" ...?
>> is this free software? public domain? freeware? royalty free?
> They mean, they are using: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agrega
> (http://www.proyectoagrega.es/default/Inicio ) - GPL as far as i can see.
> They are new to free software but the person talking seems to know what she
> is talking about.


> Sirius - run by Mark Taylor of ex-OSC fame - is developing the system with
> them.
> I think they'd be open to discussion.


it's really easy to ruin a great idea with poor licensing

sounds like they really need some good pro bono from a clueful lawyer.
http://www.rosenlaw.com/oslbook.htm is a good book and a place to

good licensing is really tough but it's the basis of long term
success. the FSF spent years on each on their licenses and i know
AL2.0 took a similar amount of time.

- robert

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