Rebus Community's Licensing Policy. An update!

Hello all,

We’ve spent some time reviewing our licensing policy, considering whether or not we’ve limited access to the Rebus Community by only accepting projects licensed CC BY. @zoe writes,

"We still believe that the most permissive license appropriate should be granted, and we believe that in most instances this is the CC BY license. But, we understand that the suite of licenses allow different people to make their own assessment of what is most appropriate. As a result, when we launch the next version of our software, users will be allowed to choose any of the following licenses:

Read the rest of Zoe’s blog post on licenses on the Rebus Foundation blog.

Part of “How to Attribute Creative Commons Photos“, by foter, licensed CC-BY-SA 3.0

What license do you prefer to release your work under?


Thanks for this update. I prefer to support my clients to publish their OER under the CC BY, unless there is some overwhelming reason why they cannot - though I find those reasons are few and far between. I’m opposed to referring to material licensed more restrictively than CC BY-SA as open because when that happens we dilute the most important word in the phrase ‘open educational resources’. Resources aren’t open because they are accessible. Resources are open because they come with very permissive copyrights. For years now the open definition (and the advisory council) has published both the definition of open, and a list of licences viewed by the council as conformant with that definition. Only the BY and the BY-SA licences meet that definition.

Without some rigour around the true concept of open, the O in OER becomes meaningless.

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Hi @bm.appleyard, thank for sharing your thoughts. We think a lot about that word ‘open’ too, and how it goes beyond just licenses. While the permissive license is critical, so too (I believe) are the ideas of open processes, open pathways to participation and technical openness.

In addition, part of this change in our thinking that I didn’t go into much in the post is about the role we have as an organisation, and the role aim to play in the community. We want to support and facilitate creation, but aren’t directly funding it, for example, so it doesn’t feel like our place to mandate a single license. We’ll continue to advocate for it strongly, but think keeping a hard rule in place would do more harm than good in pursuit of our goal to support collaborative OER creation globally.