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Open content

Open content, coined by analogy with "open source," (though technically it is actually share-alike) describes any kind of creative work including articles, pictures, audio, and video that is published in a format that explicitly allows the copying of the information. Content can be either in the public domain or under a license like the GNU Free Documentation License. Wikipedia, Nupedia, and all Wikimedia projects are open content (see Wikipedia:Copyrights). "Open content" is also sometimes used to describe content that can be modified by anyone; there is no closed group like a commercial encyclopedia publisher responsible for all the editing.

It's possible that the first documented case of Open Content was with the Royal Society, where they aspired toward information sharing across the globe as a public enterprise. The commonality is difficult to dismiss.

Like the debate between the titles "open source" and "free software", open content materials can also be described as free content, although technically they describe different things. For example, the Open Directory 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, while others maximize the freedom of the initial recipient.

Common content are ones licensed in the Creative Commons. They are called open content only if they are licensed as share-alike (one of the CC's options).


Open content projects (in alphabetical order)

Related topics, not open content


See also

public domain, free content, free software movement, open content movement, copyleft, open access, public domain resources, semi-public domain resources , public domain image resources, collaborative writing.

External links


The list of open content projects are partly based on The Institutional Design of Open Source Programming on Firstmonday

Last updated: 10-24-2004 05:10:45