I just came across an article in the Chronicle of Higher Ed on the use of Creative Commons licenses in the academy (registration required, sadly – if you’re student/faculty/staff at a university, your library may have access!), and as I heard the topic of Creative Commons discussed yesterday on WNYC, I have taken it as a sign to post. Seriously though, it was an interesting article that primarily dicussed the reasons why more professors aren’t embracing the chance to retain copyright and widely publish their work via a Creative Commons license:
Proponents of Creative Commons acknowledge that changing entrenched practices is hard, especially when faculty members struggling to win tenure are grateful just to have their work published in a respected journal, even if it means giving up their copyrights.
A small number of schools are using these licenses, notably MIT‘s OpenCourseWare initiative. It’s a real dilemma, though. Say you wanted to make an early draft of an article that you’re working available on your blog, in order to solicit feedback from your peers. At what point does this become problematic in terms of eventually having to give up copyright to a publisher?