Following up a little more on Stephen's criticism of The Capetown Declaration. This foundational statement in the declaration is completely consistent with the founding principles of the free software movement and open source software licensing:
(The open education movement) is built on the belief that everyone should have the freedom to use, customize, improve and redistribute educational resources without constraint (emphasis added).
Compare to the Free Software Definition:
- The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
- The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
- The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
- The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
Stephen's perspective on this is:
Third, the document advocates a form of 'open' that explicitly encourages the closing and blocking of access to education through the commercialization of these resources. The meaning of the catchphrase about "differences among licensing schemes for open resources creat(ing) confusion and incompatibility" is made explicit in the FAQ: "we believe that open education and open educational resources are very much compatible with the business of commercial publishing."
People working from the first principles of the free software movement or the definition of open source software, like me, will never accept non-commercial licensing as "free" or "open," because it limits the use and redistribution of the work. Free use, customization, improvement and redistribution are completely non-negotiable.
Now, this doesn't mean that Stephen is wrong, but I think he holds out a bit more hope that these points of view can be reconciled than is warranted. This is a schism.