OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES, OPEN DATA AND DATABASES: LICENSING ISSUES IN THE EUROPEAN UNION
The (re)use of open data and databases in OER to be effective needs an informed choice between the main licensing options and issues related
This presentation aims at offering an overview of the main issues in licensing and using open data and databases concerning open educational resources. The geographical scope is limited to Europe because the EU is promoting the release of open dataset while encouraging the use of Open Educational Content. These two parallel growing trends could lead to a fast growing of legal issues if a correct approach to licensing should miss. The results of the investigation would be for many aspects relevant also for other non-European countries.
In order to explore and explain the copyleft’s domain and the evolution in contractual forms of management of IPRs (Intellectual Property Rights), it is important to define the notion of the rights related to databases and the available alternatives. The protection of researchers’ work is not incompatible with the spreading of data and the re-use and re-mix of statistics and databases when released under proper licensing methods.
The analysis of the relationship between database and its content will lead to a comparison of different licenses. This side-by-side evaluation will be focused on Creative Commons and the Open Data Commons. The peculiar approach of national institutions will be taken into account: the examples will focus on the experience of some government, like Italy, which promoted adaptation kinds of Open Government License. The re-use as open educational resources of open data and databases is mainly connected to the mixing and extracting needs for teaching purposes, especially in e-learning context.
The choice between different licensing options could be an obstacle if unaware of the differences and poses some risks.
It is important to point out the consequences on the usability of the resource, the applicability to databases and the licensing restrictions on the derivative work, which encompasses the data.
A brief comparison of the different licenses’ drawbacks from a legal perspective could provide an helpful insight and address specific needs and answer many questions, also preventing further problems.
Far from the shadow of copyright and intellectual property coverage, all data defined as public domain or released under truly “open” license will allow a proper use in an Open Educational Resources (OER) context.
In the presentation will be discussed the “openness” of Creative Commons Licensing in its various combination, showing which one suits best the educational goal, and underlying the differences from Open Data Commons and Government licenses.
In some situations, which can be not uncommon in dealing with databases, Third-party rights could also be involved and needs to be taken care of. In such cases the creative commons licenses could be inapplicable and the teacher should choose different options.
Finally, the data protection issues should also be covered, preventing personal data to be shared. The database builder should ever anonymize or codify the data to protect individuals' rights.
Strengthening the synergies between open education and parallel work in the open data, open access, open science, and open source software movements