Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dual Licensing Redux

On Friday I posted a quick note about a discussion that we've been having at en.wikibooks: The issue of dual-licensing of books has been raised again and it's getting the serious consideration that it deserves. Licensing and issues surrounding that is a perennial topic of discussion.

On one end of the discussion are several editors who are interested in multi-licensing their books to help facilitate use and reuse of our materials in schools and on other websites. Wikibooks is like Wikipedia in some ways, but very different in others. Key among those differences is the way that our content is used, and the target audience we have. For Wikibooks to be called a "success", we can't just have a huge library of free books, but we need to get those books into the hands of students and teachers.

The discussion started in our Reading Room (equivalent of WPs Village Pump), and migrated to textbook-l. Textbook-l tends to be a very low-volume and low-participation list, so I'm planning on writing up a digest to post back to the readers at Wikibooks eventually. Here is a link to the first textbook-l post that started the topic:

And here is a link to the original discussion in the Reading Room:

And these, as I mentioned before are not the first places where this issue has been discussed. We have a few precarious books which currently are attempting to use a multi-licensing scheme, and we've basically ignored it when it's happened in the past. I guess there's no more ignoring now, now that the issue is out in the open like this.

I would like to see more input, both on textbook-l and also in our Reading Room. If you have any information, opinions, or ideas to share to help out with this discussion, we would love to hear from you. Alternatively, if you post good messages here on this blog, I'll try to make sure they get seen by the rest of the community as well.

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