Educational Resources Funded by the Department of Ed Will Soon be Openly Licensed

DOE GOES OPEN: Education resources created using the Department of Education’s competitive grant funds will soon be required to be openly licensed for public use, reproduction and distribution. “Many education stakeholders and other members of the public are generally not aware of the educational resources created as a result of the Department’s competitive grant programs,” the regulation text reads. “We believe this is because the education resources often are created and disseminated locally or disseminated to limited audiences.”

Currently, grantees have title to intellectual property, including copyright, for the materials they produce with the Department’s discretionary competitive grants, a nearly $4.2 billion fund. The open licensing ruling, which went into effect on May 22, requires grantees to provide open license for their copyrighted work to the public starting on October 1, 2017.

The regulation has some limitations, however. Creative Commons, a copyright licensing platform that has worked with the Department on making publicly-funded resources openly available, points out the rule does not apply to funding going towards individual research scholarships or peer-reviewed academic publications funded by the Department.

A previous version of this post said the ruling went into effect in March. It has been updated to reflect that the ruling in fact went into effect on May 22. It has also been updated to reflect that the new rule will implemented beginning on October 1, 2017.

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