Late last month, the Department of Education’s Open Licensing Rule went into effect. The rule, which ensures that educational resources and other copyrightable works created with Department competitive grant funds are openly licensed, had been subject to a series of regulatory delays since it was finalized on January 19th.
As of May 22nd, however, the rule will be implemented – finally ensuring that students and educators will have access to new educational materials funded with public money.
Every year, the Federal Government invests billions of taxpayer dollars in programs to develop our workforce, increase student educational success, and maintain our global competitiveness. Many of these programs include the creation and development of educational resources, though they are often created under a closed copyright license and not available for wide reuse outside the program they were developed for.
Instead, openly licensing these locally-created resources empowers schools — public, private and in the home — to better educate their students, allows businesses to incorporate them into workforce training, helps entrepreneurs to build new enterprises around them, and permits students to enrich themselves through lifelong learning.
At Creative Commons USA, we applaud the Department of Education for making this commitment to the public interest and look forward to ways the OER community can support implementation of this rule.