Everyone in the OER world nows the 4R model of David Wiley. David has created the 4Rs for the purpose of helping people understand and remember the key rights that open content licenses grant them. Last month, after seven years, he introduced an improved version of the 4R model. The 5th R stands for Retain: the right to make, own, and control copies of the content. The reason to add the R is that more and more resources are limited in the time you can use them. David writes about this:
Last month I wrote about “disappearing ink,” a way of characterizing the way that post-secondary institutions are trying to increase the affordability of required textbooks by decreasing student access to them. Specifically, campuses have initiated a number of programs like textbook buyback, textbook rental, digital subscription programs, and DRM-laden ebook programs, each of which results in students completely losing access to their required textbooks at the end of term. The more I’ve pondered the disappearing ink strategy, the more it has bothered me. I can understand commercial publishers acting in a way that favors business over learning, but not our campuses.
Although this 5th R is implied in the others (at least 3 of the original 4Rs are impossible to do without the right to Retain), it hasn't been addressed directly in the discussion about open licensing. You could see Retain as a fundamental right.
The 5Rs of Openness
- Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
- Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
- Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
- Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
- Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)
I think Retain is a very good addition in times that we still have to fight for openness. Although openness is getting more attention, it is still not the default in education what it should be. Education is sharing, but most of the times you are not allowed to do that!
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