Monday, April 2, 2012

»The potential for Creative Commons licences in the public sector

The potential for Creative Commons licences in the public sector

the Common Information Environment Group (CIE) have just released a study on the potential for Creative Commons Licences to simplify access to digital resources. The CIE fund ways of making digital work more widely available for reuse and so the CC licence is a big issue for them. The group was motivated by the needs of public and semi public groups, such as libraries & local government, to make available works for all: similar considerations to those of the BBC with it’s Creative Archive licence.

The report sets out a number of broad principles:

Resources should be made as widely available as possible unless there is a bona fide reason not to.
Re-use should be as unconstrained as possible.
The range of uses should be as wide as possible such as allowing modification and derivation of resources.
Redistribution on a global basis should be allowed.
Electronic discovery of resources, such as by search engines, should be made available along with direct access.
Conditions of use should be attached to the resource for easy reuse.

Based on these principles a number of recommendations were made:

Attribution-only (BY) licence meets the most general conditions of
principle 2.
Attribution-Non-commercial-Share-alike (BY-NC-SA) licence meets the
more specific conditions of principle 3.
Attribution-Non-commercial-No-derivates (BY-NC-ND) licence can be used
if modification is to be prevented.
the Creative Commons was the preferable licence or failing that then either the BBC’s Creative Archive licence or the Crown’s Click-Use licence. Learning a lesson from the Open Source experience the proliferation of open licences was best avoided.
Member organisations should make the licences widely known through workshops and briefing papers.
In some cases the cost of using the CC may be greater than just dealing with occasional queries from the public - so pilot studies should be done by the CIE member organisations.
Best practice guides, with examples, should be made available on how to aggregate and attribute resources.

If the licence doesn’t address issues the publisher feels may be a concern then they should attach extra detail to the licence that may help resolve the problem: e.g. how they would like to be credited, the validity of the content and an assertion that the right of re-use and redistribution doesn’t amount to an endorsement.