Exemplary Collection of open content licensing approaches

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<Open Educational Content

According to Lawrence Liang (A Guide To Open Content Licences) there are various ways in which we can map out the various kinds of open content licenses, e.g. on the basis of the medium they address, on the nature of the license or on the validity of the license.

We decide to give you an short overview about the general licenses and then present a list of licenses for special formats or contents. For more information about the license we recommend the (A Guide To Open Content Licences) of Lawrence Liang.

Public Domain

There are many resources available on the net that are in the "Public Domain", and therefore freely usable without restrictions in the U.S. This works are considered to be a part of a common cultural and intellectual heritage, which anyone may use or exploit. But this relinquishment of the intellectual property rights is not possible in european countries like Austria or Germany.

General licenses

Creative Commons is an organization which provides flexible licenses for content producers. Creative Commons licenses allow copying, distribution and public performance as well as displaying the work without any license payments. The licenses give the users possibility to have rights without obligations. Creative Commons offers the end user the ability to make their choices on three key concepts:attribution, derivation and commercial usage. Based on a combination on these three key concepts there are six different kinds of licenses, e.g. Commercial/ Derivation, Non Commercial/ Derivation but Share Alike.

serves primarily as a supplement or a complementary license to the GNU GPL. It is intended primarily for manuals or other instructional texts or documents which have a "functional value".

designed for distribution of open content material, applicable to any medium, the license was drafted keeping academic needs in mind

Licensing special content/format

A documentation license brought out by Apple for software documentation, instructional manuals etc.

  • [Creative Commons Science]

is designed to use free music as a way of promoting artists.

authorizes you to copy, distribute and freely transform the work of art while respecting the rights of the originator.

license that is based on the GNU GPL for music and other audio works. It can be divided in three categories: green, yellow and red. The Green OpenMusic License resembles closely the liberties granted by the GPL for music. When needed more restrictions, use the yellow or red color.

is an initiative from Germany that attempts to replicate the GNU GPL into the domain of music but provides for a set of customized licenses (represented in as Green, Yellow, Red and Rainbow) depending on the nature of rights that are allowed by the license.

license for any physical or electronic medium

Additional Information

The description of the licenses is based on: Lawrence Liang, Piet Zwart Institute (2004): A Guide To Open Content Licences A very good guide through the jungle of licenses!