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Licensing OERs

By Jane Hughes, on 28 January 2011

Are universities commercial organisations?
We have had lots of discussions about the  Creative Commons licensing for our resources. We know our resource developers find a non-commercial restriction reassuring – but we are discouraged from using this.  The main reasons we have been given are (1) the ‘NC’ reduces the amount of re-use (can someone point us to evidence for this?) and (2)  universities, which charge fees, could be regarded as commercial organisations and, as such, prevented from using an ‘NC’ resource.
But our Provost has written in a newsletter that, “universities are charities. Their resources may be used only for their charitable purposes”.
We would be interested to know what others are doing about the use – or not – of the NC restriction in OERs. We would like to show that we are open to the possibility of commercial use but would like potential users to contact us first.

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