Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Open Licensing; two important policy initiatives

Recently open licensing domain  witnessed two great policy initiatives. On 30th May, 2011, the Commonwealth of Learning website reported a policy decision taken at the Commonwealth of Learning ( to promote the use of open licensing, , relating to OER, in governments and institutions and release its own (COL’s) materials under the most feasible open licenses including  CC-BY-SA.  As per  COL’s policy on  OER, it will:

  • encourage and support governments and institutions to establish supportive policy frameworks to introduce practices relating to OER ;
  • advocate the merits of collaboratively creating, sharing and using OER, as one form of intellectual capital in education, to improve quality and enhance long-term cost-effectiveness; and
  • release its own materials under the most feasible open licenses including the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA license.

(See )

The next initiative is the proposal of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for setting up a new free license scheme in Russia along the lines of Creative Commons, GNU and FDL.

On 2nd June, 2011 the Kremlin Website reported ( that President Dmitry Medvedev has approved a list of instructions as given below  following a meeting with the internet community representatives:

- to draft proposals on amending Russian laws so as to give authors the right to make their works available on a free-licence basis to the public at large (along the lines of Creative Commons, GNU FDL);

- to discuss with media representatives, including internet and broadcast media, other information copyright holders, authors’ organisations, and Russian and international experts the use of works protected by copyright laws, taking into account modern methods for their reproduction, and analyse global practice in order to develop models that would expand and facilitate public access to material of cultural value, including for information, scientific and educational purposes, and draft proposals for discussion at international forums based on the conclusions reached;

- to draft proposals on amending Russian laws on the mass media regarding liability limits of media outlets disseminated in the internet for the publication of comments by readers and remarks by third parties that violate Russian legislation, including the laws on preventing extremist activity;

- to draft proposals on procedures for giving nationally accredited intermediate vocational and higher professional education establishments access to audiovisual materials in the state mass media archives;

- to speed up the work to bring Russian law into line with the Council of Europe’s Convention for the protection of individuals with regard to automatic processing of personal data, which requires ending unjustified responsibilities placed on those collecting and managing personal data. The Russian Foreign Ministry has been instructed to hand over to the depositary the instruments of Russia’s ratification of the said convention.

These two policy initiatives would definitely strengthen and popularize the production, use and remix of Open Educational Resources, which is the need of the hour.

Creative Commons License
Open Licensing; two important policy initiatives by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License