We are pleased to announce that as of Thursday, August 26, 2010, all edSocialMedia content including articles from contributors and except where noted will be licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license.


It has been truly exciting to watch the growth of edSocialMedia, and we have the tremendous privilege and honor of hosting contributed stories from some of the brightest thinkers and practitioners of social media in education.


One of the best things about working with such great professionals is that they challenge you. Recently, a number of our contributors and readers called us out on our copyright and licensing terms.


While most of our video and photos are already released under a Creative Commons license, we have been somewhat more stingy about text and have been using a standard copyright. To be clear, we have always been supportive of the “fair-use” principle of our content which is implicit in any copyright; but until now going Creative Commons for text seemed like an unnecessary complication.


Our concern was that a CC license for text might encourage wholesale duplication of our articles and stories. edSocialMedia.com is a business that relies heavily on a successful internet presence and visibility, and having duplicate content on the internet might potentially drag down edSocialMedia’s page rank, which is neither good for us nor our contributors.


However, after some soul-searching, research and some thoughtful debates between @peterdbaron, @steveritchie, @ernestkoe and @jessebardo, we’ve come to the conclusion that benefits of releasing all content under a Creative Commons license outweighs the potential risks.


Here’s part of our reasoning:

  1. We think the ‘remix and share’ philosophy at the core of Creative Commons licenses is fundamental to our education mission. We should practice what we preach.
  2. The CC license grants us all the rights we need to operate a successful business and it lets us better serve our constituents. Win-win.
  3. “Fair use” still applies but by explicitly granting certain reuse rights we are explicitly supporting our core constituents (educators and parents) in their mission.
  4. Less friction = more sharing; more sharing = more mindshare.
  5. We believe in “less control” and we are going to model that behavior fully.
  6. The problem of duplicated content exists but we think that the risk of someone else maliciously duplicating our content is probably low; and if someone is really going to go through the trouble to duplicate our stuff for evil, a standard copyright isn’t likely to stop them anyway.
  7. This is an opportunity to share our ideas and best practices related to the reuse and remix of content.

Many thanks to our contributors and readers for the nudge, and tell us what you think by leaving a comment below.

the edSocialMedia team

Ernest Koe

I love what I do. The best part of this job is that I get to talk to people and organizations about information technology--not just narrowly about database systems, or websites or the technical kung-fu surrounding integration and software but also broadly on the use of information itself and its impact on our businesses and schools. My technical expertise is in information systems--databases and web technologies--but my professional interests cover technology in the context of education, community-development and business-development. When time permits, I blog about these things at http://proofgroup.com/blog/ernest.