Twofish's Blog

August 5, 2006

The NC Tag again

Filed under: academia, wikipedia — twofish @ 10:06 pm

Back at Wikimania…..

We need to talk about the non-commercial tag. That one tag is standing in the way of creating a flood of open information resources. If it weren’t for the NC tag, we could download all of the MIT opencourseware into wikitexts, reformat it so that it meets the standard for Thomas Edison State College or Excelsior, and I could start a small business tutoring people in astronomy.

We can’t do this, and (excuse the screaming) IT IS DAMN FRUSTRATING. Instead of building on these useful corpus of material, we are in the position of having to rewrite all of this stuff, which will take two or three years and waste hundreds if not thousands of man-hours that can be devoted to other things.

So I have a question:

How much?

I want everyone who puts up an NC tag to think about how much they are willing to be paid to remove that tag. If people can’t come up with a dollar number, then why put the tag in. If someone has to pay cash, then lets get a dollar number for the amount of money it will take to free up a critical mass of opencourseware texts, make the payment and be done with it. I suspect that if we come up with a dollar number for how much it will cost to free up all of MIT OCW, it will be so ludicriously small, that we can take up a donate to get that done.

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