Open Content Project

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Creative Commons
SuccessorCreative Commons
FounderDavid A. Wiley
Dissolved2003 (2003)

The Open Content Project was a project dedicated to free culture and Creative Commons.

One goal was to evangelize the concept of open content. The project's Open Publication License, primarily designed and offered for academics, could easily be adapted to the needs of the artist or other content provider.

The Open Content Project has closed in 2003 and has been succeeded by Creative Commons.[1][2]


  1. ^ on (30 June 2003, archived)
  2. ^ Wiley, David (2007-05-06). "About the Open Publication License". iterating toward openness. [The] Open Content License (July 14, 1998), which was replaced by the Open Publication License (June 8, 1999), were the first licenses to bring the ideals of open source software to the world of content. The OCL predates the GFDL (Nov 2002) and Creative Commons (Dec 2002) by over four years, while the improved OPL predates both by over three years. The OCL was developed primarily by me... The improved OPL was written primarily by Eric Raymond after discussions with me, Tim O'Reilly, and others... The OPL was truly innovative in that, in addition to requiring citation of the original author as source, it contained two license options which authors could choose to invoke: one restricts users' abilities to creative derivative works, while the second restricts users' abilities to make certain commercial uses of the material. The student of open content licensing will recognize that these are exactly the options that Creative Commons now employs. What may be forgotten is that in version 1.0 of the Creative Commons licenses, Attribution was actually included in the licenses only as an option. In version 2.0 of the CC licenses (May 24, 2004) attribution was standard on every license, and there were two licenses options: one regarding derivative works, and one regarding commercial use. So in terms of high level structure, the OPL was here about five years before CC. ... Actually, the [OCL and OPL] licenses weren't that great, seeing as I am not a lawyer, and neither was anyone else involved in the creation of the license. The concept was right, and the execution was "good enough," but Creative Commons (with its excellent lawyers and law school students) created a better legal instrument. As I said on the homepage on Monday June 30, 2003: 'My main goal in beginning OpenContent back in the Spring of 1998 was to evangelize a way of thinking about sharing materials, especially those that are useful for supporting education. ... I'm closing OpenContent because I think Creative Commons is doing a better job of providing licensing options which will stand up in court [and I'm joining] Creative Commons as Director of Educational Licenses. Now I can focus in on facilitating the kind of sharing most interesting to me ... with the pro bono support of really good IP lawyers... The OpenContent License and Open Publication License will remain online for archival purposes in their current locations. However, no future development will occur on the licenses themselves.'

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