Open content

From English Wikinfo
Revision as of 09:40, 6 August 2012 by George Dance (Talk | contribs) (imported Main Wikinfo article)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

Search for "Open_content" on Wikipedia  • Wikimedia Commons • Wiktionary • Wikiquote • Wikibooks • Mediawiki Wikia • Wikitravel • Google Advanced Search • Yahoo Advanced Search • WorldCat Advanced Search • Amazon • Recent NY Times • Older NY Times.

For criticism see Criticism of Open_content

Open content, a neologism coined by analogy with "open source", describes any kind of creative work, or content, published under a license that explicitly allows copying and modifying of its information by anyone, not exclusively by a closed organization, firm or individual. Open content is an alternative paradigm to the use of copyright to create monopolies; rather than leading to monopoly, open content facilitates the democratization of knowledge.[1]

The largest open content project is Wikipedia.[2]

Technical definition

The Open Knowledge Foundation has undertaken work on a technical definition for open content. The Open Knowledge Definition (OKD) gives a set of conditions for openness in knowledge - much as the Open Source Definition does for open-source software. Content can be either in the public domain or under a license which allows re-distribution and re-use, such as Creative Commons Attribution and Attribution-Sharealike licenses or the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). It is worth noting that the OKD covers open data as well as open content.


It is possible that the first documented case of open content was the Royal Society, which aspired to share information across the globe as a public enterprise.[cn] The term "open content" was first used in the modern context by David Wiley, then a graduate student at Brigham Young University, who founded the Open Content Project and put together the first content-specific (non-software) license in 1998, with input from Eric Raymond, Tim O'Reilly, and others.[cn]

Free content

As with the terms "open source" and "free software", some open content materials can also be described as "free content", although technically they describe different things. For example, the Open Directory Project is open content but is not free content. The main difference between licenses is the definition of freedom: some licenses attempt to maximize the freedom of all potential recipients in the future (by having minor "restrictions") while others maximize the freedom of the initial recipient.

Common content

The related term "common content" is occasionally used to refer to Creative Commons–licensed works. This takes after the Common Content project, which is an attempt to collect as many such works as possible.

Open access

"Open access" refers to a special category of material, consisting of freely available published peer-reviewed journal articles.

Open-content search engines

With the increased interest in open content, many universities have started offering online video/audio courses to the general public, such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Princeton University. This has resulted in a great increase in providers of open content. The difficulty of keeping track of all such content had led to the birth of open-content search engines.[3]


See also


  1. Lawrence Liang, "Free/Open Source Software Open Content", Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme: e-Primers on Free/Open Source Software, United Nations Development Programme – Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme, 2007.
  2. Schoer, Joachim; Hertel, Guido (2007-12-03). "Voluntary Engagement in an Open Web-based Encyclopedia: Wikipedians, and Why They Do It" (PHP). Retrieved 2007-03-17. 
  3. "Creative Commons meta-search engine". Creative Commons. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 

External links

Major open content repositories and directories

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Open content.
The list of authors can be seen in the page history. The text of this Wikinfo article is available under the GNU Free Documentation License and the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license.

English | Extra | edit