Over 100 Organizations Ask President to Ensure Federally Funded Educational Resources Are Made Freely Available Under Open Licenses

Creative Commons USA and over 100 other groups have sent a letter to President Obama urging a policy to ensure that “educational materials created with federal funds… are made available to the public as Open Educational Resources to freely use, share, and build upon” through the use of open licenses. The letter further notes that “the global standard for public copyright licensing for copyrighted content is Creative Commons. Existing U.S. Government grant programs including the TAACCCT and First in the World Programs mentioned above, use the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY). Releasing materials under a standard license, such as CC-BY, allows for increased reuse and compatibility between materials produced by different institutions, including private charitable foundations and other national governments.”

The coalition notes that the federal government has spent billions of taxpayer dollars through various programs to create educational materials, but these materials “are generally not open to the members of the public who paid for them.”

Opening up access to federally funded educational materials would allow others to benefit from, build on, and improve these works. To do this, the coalition identifies five core principles to guide Administration policy:

  • Adopt a broad definition of educational materials;
  • Provide free access via the Internet;
  • Create conditions for resources that enable reuse;
  • Require prompt implementation; and
  • Regular reporting of progress and results.

The full letter is available here.

For more information on the coalition letter, see

  • SPARC press release. SPARC Calls on White House to Open Up Access to Federally Funded Educational Resources.
  • Creative Commons blog. Obama Administration Should Require Sharing of Federally Funded Educational Resources Under Creative Commons licenses.

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