Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Taking OER beyond the OER Community; my response 3

Taking OER beyond the OER Community  is a joint initiative of  UNESCO and Commonwealth of Learning (COL). I am posting here my responses in the series of online discussions conducted as part of the above initiative.  My responses to the queries on the two themes:- (1)  Policy and capacity (2) What works, what does not and under what conditions? were added here earlier. Today, response to the queries on the third theme Copyright and the development and re-use of OERs is given below (See the forum at

 The capital for our thought process is the unimaginably huge investment made by the generations from times unknown. It is this selfless capital investment that build civilizations, which in turn support and facilitate the continued flourishing of the thought process. Locking them up with copy rights actually means betraying generations and stopping the further development of civilizations. Therefore Laws on copy right including IPR should be sensible towards this truth ( What would have been the destiny of human beings if the people discovered/identified/ popularized the use of Fire and Wheel had taken Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) for that?)

Said that, OER is the right path, the path of truth and social justice, and should grow and sustain naturally. The most powerful demonstration of freedoms associated with open content is remixing. In another words, the freedom of the free content is safeguarded through ever increasing remix and reuse. So it is a struggle for justice and freedom where our most powerful weapon is the profound and wide use of OER. Therefore all possible measures are required to be explored to promote the use of OER among teachers, students and public in general.

CC licenses - though they are also copyrights- definitely presents a workable solution to centuries old copyright threats over knowledge acquisition, use and  dissemination. Now national governments are also started to bring about legislation in favour of OER. So history repeats. We have traveled a long way away from public domain. Now through these activities we have to travel further long to return to public domain - and most importantly the weakening environment make it a necessity as we are not supposed to plunder invaluable time and resources at the cost of the health of our planet to reinvent the wheel - and the transit time is taken care of by CC.

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Taking OER beyond the OER Community; my response 3 by Apletters [Anil Prasad] is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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