QUESTIONS: Understanding the importance and value of the public domain, how much (what percentage) of this value would you estimate is realized when works are licensed with a Creative Commons or GFDL license? To what degree would the open educational resources movement (and therefore the world) be additionally benefited if OERs were simply placed in the public domain? Please explain.
I may estimate 40% of the value of the public domain when works are licensed with a Creative Commons or GFDL license. A copyright is a right of intellectual property, whereby authors obtain, for a limited time, certain exclusive rights to their works. In United Stated, copyright includes the reproductive right, the adaptive right, the distribution right, the performance right, and the display right.
Creative Commons licenses are several copyright licenses, and comprise a selection of four conditions: Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative, and ShareAlike. There are sixteen possible combination if you mix the four conditions. Six licenses are regularly used so far. Creative Commons set up different level of restriction of the usages. Generally, Creative Commons requires users to announce the original author. Some of the Creative Commons also forbid the selling of works for commercial purposes, or limit the ways of changing the original works if users want to re-share what they have created.
Copyleft is a form of licensing. Through a copyleft licensing scheme, people who receive a copy of a work permission to reproduce, adapt or distribute the work as long as any resulting copies or adaptations are also bound by the same copyleft licensing scheme. A widely used and originating copyleft license is the GNU General Public License. Similar to the GNU General Public License, The GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) is also a copyleft license that gives readers the same rights to copy, redistribute and modify a work and requires all copies and derivatives to be available under the same license. Share-alike in Creative Commons has similar licenses as GFDL.
Compared to Creative Commons, copyleft, GFDL, etc., public domain consists of the body of knowledge and innovation. No one has the right to possess the works in public domain. The body of information body of information and creativity is considered to be part of a common cultural and intellectual heritage. Anyone is able to use or exploit for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If works licensed with a Creative Commons or GFDL license are used for commercial purposes, I think very little value of public domain can be found because: 1. All of six Creative Commons licenses require uses to tell the original author of works, and it will not attract the companies which care about the profits. 2. Three out of six Creative Commons don’t allow users to use works for making money. Two out of the left three licenses without the limits of commercial usages prohibit users from altering, transforming or building on works; that is, derivative works are not permitted. For these two reasons, I don’t think works with Creative Commons or GFDL licenses can bring lots of value from the perspective of business. In contrast, if the works are simple used for educational purposes, some restrictions from Creative Commons or GFDL licenses won’t matter that munch. Generally, those works with Creative Commons or GFDL licenses might bring almost as much value as the works in public domain. However, I may reduced the value a little due to the No-Derivative restriction of Creative Commons with which users are not granted rights to re-built original works.
Open contents include four features of Rs, including Reuse, Rework, Remix, and Redistribution. I think if OERs are placed in the public domain, then they will bring more benefits for education. OERs with No-Derivative limits in Creative Commons licenses will impede reworking and remixing on works; however, in public domain, a work can be freely used by anyone for any purpose without some restrictions that exist in Creative Commons licenses.