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U.S. Department of Education Open Licensing Rule Now in Effect

Copyright, Open Access, Open Education



The U.S. Department of Education’s new open licensing rule has gone into effect. Starting in FY 2018, education resources created with Department of Education discretionary competitive grants ($4.2 billion in FY 2016) must be openly licensed and shared with the public. Creative Commons (CC) congratulates the U.S. Department of Education for ensuring the public has access to the education resources it funds.

This announcement comes after years of work by Department of Education staff, multiple civil society organizations, and individual open education leaders.

CC’s involvement began in October 2015, when we joined the Department in calling for a new rule to require publicly funded education resources be openly licensed by default. A few months later, CC and other open education leaders submitted comments supporting the proposed rule. When the implementation of the rule was delayed, a coalition of open education organizations submitted additional comments in support of implementing the change.

This new Department of Education open licensing rule follows the example set by the Department of Labor agency-wide CC BY open licensing policy, the Department of State’s open licensing playbook for federal agencies, and multiple other open education licensing policies from around the world. While the rule does not specify the use of a CC license by name, it provides guidance on what attributes the open license needs to contain (see below).

Here is the text of the final rule published in the Federal Register and in the Government Publishing Office Code of Federal Regulations.

The key points in the new rule (summarized):

We celebrate this step forward and look forward to helping the Department implement this commitment to openness!

Posted 06 June 2017