Learning patterns/©©-Change your mind - a fun workshop for open licenses
What problem does this solve?
There is a lot of uncertainty around the use of open licenses. Buzzwords like copyright, public domain and licensing laws tend to prompt questions and uncertainty in many institutions. Many employees at GLAM institutions quickly feel out of their depth when asked to mark their digital content as freely re-usable for Wikimedia and other projects. There are seven types of Creative Commons licenses alone, but only three of them are free in the Wikimedia sense of the word. Besides copyright law, other legal areas such as the right to one’s own image and the property rights of lenders and donors must also be taken into account. Such uncertainty often prevents digital content from being marked as freely available, which means that it cannot be re-used in Wikimedia projects.
What is the solution?
Wikimedia Deutschland and the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek have developed a fun training program for employees of GLAM institutions. The session is made up of three parts and lasts approximately two hours. It is ideally held at a GLAM institution that is basically prepared to turn as much of its digital content as possible into open content. We have also already successfully run the workshop at several symposia.
The introductory lecture reduces the bewildering array of information to just three cases. Participants learn about when digital contents can be marked as being in the public domain. With regards to the open Creative Commons licenses, the lecture focuses predominantly on the Attribution License (CC BY). The reasons why this license is particularly good for promoting the re-use of content, and thus the visibility of the data supplier, are made clear in the lecture.The other licenses are touched on briefly. Finally, the speaker explains the cases in which a license for re-use might need to be avoided in favor of other legal interests; whether it be because the authorship is unclear or because personality rights, data protection or other protection considerations must be prioritized. The lecture lasts approximately 30 minutes, including time for questions.
The lecture is followed by group work, in which participants get together in small teams and engage in a role play to check whether particular content can be marked as open. Participants are divided into small groups at random, with each participant drawing either a red, blue or green token. Every group must include at least one token of each color. Blue is for moderators, green for supporters of open licensing, and red for skeptics. The random allocation of roles means that the participants’ existing thought patterns are shaken up. Each group receives a pre-prepared set containing various media files with a few pieces of information that should enable them to firmly decide on one of the following three options: A) public domain, B) CC-BY or C) padlock. We provide an information sheet on these three cases to help the participants make an informed decision. The group exercise lasts a minimum of 30 minutes.
In the third part, the moderators present their group’s findings. It gets particularly interesting when two groups have assessed the same media file differently. Perhaps one group decided that a photo of an antique vase should be in the public domain, while another chose to put a padlock on it because the photographer is not known. The criteria for marking content becomes a lot clearer in the discussion, which is moderated by the speaker, than in the lecture alone. The training program makes a significant contribution to reducing uncertainty when it comes to open licensing by enabling the participants to immediately apply what they have learned and get feedback on their decisions. The last part of the program also lasts a minimum of 30 minutes.
Wikimedia Deutschland has produced the following media in consultation with the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek:
- Flyer about the format (German)
- The lecture (English)
- Media file (as Example)
- Open content guidelines
- Towards a successfull GLAM partnership!
- Wikiverse World Café - getting to know Wikimedia projects and volunteers
- GLAM on Tour - connecting Wikipedians and cultural institutions on the local level
- Wikipedian KulTour – the little sister of GLAM on Tour
- Coding da Vinci - the culture hackathon