[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Updating the OpenContent license

This announcement may also be read online at


Coming up on two years of existence, the OpenContent project has seen
some successes. We've had media coverage from The Economist, MIT
Technology Review, Wired, and Time Magazine's Digital Daily, as well as
the ever-popular Slashdot. We've seen several websites pick up the
license for their content, ranging from the popular MacOS Rumors to The
Japanese History Documentation Project. A classic essay by Alan Cox has
joined the ranks, as has more educational material in more content areas
than I care to elaborate.

But as in many endeavors, growth brings some pain and also provides
opportunities to improve the way we do things.

I would like to recommend to the community that it is time for
OpenContent to update its license. There has been some (deserved)
confusion between the OpenContent License (OPL, after its original name
"OpenContent Principles and License") and the newer, but separate, Open
Publication License (also, conveniently, OPL). This confusion provides
us with an opportunity to improve what we do by updating and improving,
and I would like to suggest unifying, the licenses.

This is entirely a community effort. To give us enough traction to get
moving, I'll recommend that we begin our discussions with the Open
Publication License (http://opencontent.org/openpub/). What looks good?
What needs to be improved? Should the Open Publication License simply be
adopted wholesale as the one and only OPL 2.0? Do you like the name Open
Publication License? I'm hoping for an initial discussion period of
about two months, with the community reaching some consensus and
conclusions by around March 1st. This is only a recommendation, of
course. Join the listserv and recommend otherwise! If it is true that
"given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow," then given enough
participation and discussion, we can bring the sensibility of the Open
Source movement to the world of "intellectual property."

David Wiley

Reply to: