I believe that the CC-BY license is the ideal Creative Commons license for open textbooks and other open educational resources. If you are part of a project funded with money from a donor trying to get the most out of every invested dollar the more restricted licenses would create unwanted barriers. Sometimes there could be good reasons for adding restrictions but more often the not, CC-BY is the best way to go.
Why? Here are some of the most obvious reasons:
- It increases the overall goal of sharing, translation and re-contextualization of books and OER.
- The CC BY license is easy to understand and follow, requiring simply that attribution be provided to an open textbook author(s).
- Content with a CC-BY license can be remixed** with all non-ND CC licenses, making it easier to remix others’ OER into an open textbook.
- I believe an ND (no-derivatives) licensed textbook is not an open textbook because ND licenses do not allow two of the five Rs: revising and remixing.
- The NC license also reduces remix options.
- The SA license reduces remix options.
- The NC license often causes confusion and limits the spread, adoption and use of OER. Creators should consider carefully whether their reasons for using an NC license justify the limitations it will impose on users.
- NC license has been used to claim that OER cannot be printed by a commercial print shop for use in classrooms.
- Some Colleges have assumed that because they charge tuition, they can’t use NC-licensed OER. Others worry about printing and selling (cost recovery only) NC-licensed open textbooks.
This article is a derivative of “Open Textbook Community Advocates CC BY License for Open Textbooks” by Mary Burgess, David Ernst, Hugh McGuire, David Wiley used under CC-BY 4.0 International License. This article is licensed under CC-BY 4.0 International License by Christer Gundersen.