Talk:Open content

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various comments[edit]

I think that there are differences between the GNU FDL licenses and licenses proposed by the Open Content org which you mentioned. I fear this is going to be confused and will lead to such a confusion like freeware, shareware and public domain programs. Open Content license is in my opinion much more restrictive than GNU FDL. Open Content is one of many attempts to make content more open. But using open content as a synonym for this process would be misleading because the license itself is more restrictive. --StefanRybo— Preceding unsigned comment added by StefanRybo~enwiki (talkcontribs) 13:14, 27 July 2001 (UTC)

We do use the GNU FDL. If you want to raise an issue about what we must do in order to be 100% in compliance with the license, feel free to do so--but not by editing this article. The mailing list, perhaps. I have, ugh, simply not found the time (which I should have done long ago) to make the few piddling changes that need to be made. Please don't be petty about this; try to be charitable. --LMS— Preceding unsigned comment added by Larry Sanger (talkcontribs) 23:47, 7 January 2002 (UTC)
I was; since I believe the statement "Wikipedia uses the GFDL" is misleading without context, which is given on the GFDL page, I thought it best rather than to argue the point, just to delete the flat statement, and leave the link to the GFDL, which explains the issue properly.
I think I'm glad you think the changes necessary are "piddling". I hope you make such changes forthwith.
I'm just going to edit the statement to be more accurate, then. --TheCunctator— Preceding unsigned comment added by The Cunctator (talkcontribs) 01:49, 8 January 2002 (UTC)
And I am changing it back. I'm not going to argue about this with you, Cunctator. Just leave it alone. Please. --LMS

Instead of referring to the "Google Directory", it would be better to refer to the source of the data: the Open Directory project at --Hari— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 08:41, 8 April 2002 (UTC)

Can we talk here about the Free Art License ? --Nÿco— Preceding unsigned comment added by Nyco~enwiki (talkcontribs) 10:33, 20 August 2002 (UTC)

the offers a number of customizable open content licenses for free online.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 20:36, 21 December 2002 (UTC)

I don't want to tread on any toes over people's definition of open content, so I've not added this straight in, but I think it would be worth adding The Budapest Open Access Initiative. cfp 14:56, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Public Library of Science is open access, not open content. I've removed it from the list. The minor, but important, difference is that open access can be read by anyone, but cannot be modified by anyone. Also, open access is not always in the public domain or under GDFL. Sayeth 21:45, Aug 4, 2004 (UTC)

I'm surprised to see that this article talks about Wikipedia itself. That doesn't seem particularly "encyclopedia-like"; I doubt you'll see a "normal" encyclopedia ever reference itself. Discussing Wikimedia projects in the opening paragraph just doesn't seem objective or professional at all. ~ Booyabazooka 00:15, 18 Oct 2004 (UTC)

True. I have just removed the sentence mentioning Wikipedia. -- Taku 03:22, Oct 18, 2004 (UTC)

You know, considering how evangelical certain groups are about this subject, I am pleased and surprised at how straightforward and informative this entry is. Good job, folks. -- Bblackmoor 22:44, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Common content?[edit]

"Common content are ones licensed in the Creative Commons. They are called open content only if they are licensed as share-alike (one of the CC's options)."

Okay, first of all, I've extensively studied this subject and have never ever heard of that. Second, it contradicts an earlier statement in the introduction that public domain materials count as open content. Public domain is not share-alike. Is there really a significant group that considers "open content" to imply a share-alike license? If so, we should at least clarify this. Graue 00:23, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

Agreed. This sounds wrong. Maybe that comment was not meant to stress the copyleft aspect, but to rule out "non-commercial" and "no derivative works". Whatever the initial intention, I support fixing that paragraph. Rl 06:58, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
Apparently there is a project called Common Content that tries to collect as much CC-licensed stuff as it can, and I guess the name has been used as a generic term. I rewrote the paragraph, so it should be clear now. Graue 01:54, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

copyright status and MIT OpenCourseware[edit]

I'm a bit confused by the "Related topics, not open content" section note about MIT's OpenCourseWare. It's a little contradictory to discuss OpenCourseWare in the beginning of the article and then claim that it's not an example of Open Content. But more importantly, I think this part misrepresents the copyright status of open content. The copyright for all non-public domain content remains with the author unless explicitly transfered or disclaimed. This is true of open source software and of creative commons and GFDL work, too. Open Content as CC understands it is a type of licensing, not a transfer of copyright. From CC website: "Creative Commons defines the spectrum of possibilities between full copyright — all rights reserved — and the public domain — no rights reserved. Our licenses help you keep your copyright while inviting certain uses of your work — a 'some rights reserved' copyright."

I thought the same thing, and am glad you wrote your note. I'm going to try and resolve these conflicts. -- 03:36, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

CC website Den bagus68 (talk) 15:16, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

External links section way too huge[edit]

Wikipedia isn't a search engine or a directory, why are there so many links? I deleted some, but that list should recieve even more trimming. Fatalis 15:21, 29 January 2007 (UTC)


perhaps it would be useful if you listed here what you proposed to trim. -- there are only 13 there now, which by WP standards isnt exactly huge. The size is however irrelevant--the question is the importance of the content.

I have just re-examined the list, and they are all in my opinion significant, though some should be integrated into the main article.
As for OER Commons, though I wasn't familiar with it, they do seem to be an important project with important sponsors--the possibly would deserve an article., as might some of the others. But I had problems reaching Open Content Initiative. DGG 19:01, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Since it is WP policy on links that external links not be given for places that have a WP article on them, I have removed those--the idea is that people will go the the WP articles first. Possibly some of the remaining projects deserve articles as well. DGG 22:19, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Why not add a 'List of Open Content repositories' article to include (potentially long) list of such sites? These sorts of lists appear in many other places in WP. (talk) 15:08, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

I posted a good example of open content (namely as similarly demonstrated by other project links:

"OpenCourseWare Consortium — portal linking to free and openly licensed course materials from hundreds of universities worldwide
MIT OpenCourseWare — free and openly licensed course materials from more than 1,800 MIT courses
Connexions — global open-content repository started by Rice University
OER Commons — network of open teaching and learning materials, with ratings and reviews
OpenLearn — free and open educational resources from The Open University
Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN) — directory/registry of open data/content packages and projects
UNESCO Open Training Platform — network for international development issues
Open ICEcat catalog — worldwide open catalog for product information
LRE for schools - The Learning Resource Exchange for schools is a federation of repositories including open content from 18 Ministries of Education in Europe"

Why was my link classed as spam when it's clearly a comparable open project? (see page history deletion April 21st and my talk page) Please consider Substepr for inclusion in the external links section. How is it fair that it was deleted while all these other projects remain on the page? Plasmon1248 (talk) 12:17, 22 April 2012 (UTC) is a Wiki with 28 registered users, and is a Link normally to be avoided (#4,#10, #12) and fails Wikipedias specific requirements of our External Links policy, Verifiability Policy and Reliable Source guidelines.
Additionally, Wikipedia is NOT a "repository of links" or a "vehicle for advertising" . Equally Wikipedia is not a place to to promote your site. --Hu12 (talk) 21:40, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Relationship to free content?[edit]

Should this article be combined with free content? In any case, the paragraph describing the relationship between the two concepts could be made clearer. –Uïfareth Cúthalion (talk) 03:29, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

The people deeply involved think of them as very different. Free content is free for anyone to use or misuse, somewhat like WP except without the need for attribution--it's a movement intended to place everything in the public domain, and eliminate copyright and moral rights both, with a fundamental desire to diminish the autonomy and individuality of the content creator. Open content is content available for anyone to access and to copy. It's a change in the manner of distribution, which open content is a change in the manner of both distribution and production. Open content is use of the web to free writers of the control by publishers; free content is to free writing from the control of both writers and publishers.

I can write this here, because OR doesn't apply, & I can give my own personal summary. I would never attempt to combine the two articles. W need to find something quotable that makes the distinction. DGG 04:00, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

The idea above, that free content is "without the need for attribution", contradicts the Free content article. The other distinctions made above are also not clear to me.
Let's compare the opening lines of the articles:
  • Open content is "any kind of creative published in a format that explicitly allows the copying and the modifying of the information by anyone."
  • Free content is "any kind of... creative content having no significant legal restriction relative to people's freedom to use, redistribute, and produce modified versions of and works derived from the content."
This looks to me like it is only a difference of wording, and perhaps of emphasis - the two descriptions appear to outline the same freedoms. --Chriswaterguy talk 23:35, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Content moved from open source[edit]

The following content was in open source as "society and culture". It clearly describes what is more commonly (and correctly) known as the open content movement. Please integrate any of this that you find appropriate. --—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 26 November 2007

Open source culture is the creative practice of appropriation and free sharing of found and created content. Examples include collage, found footage film, music, and appropriation art. Open source culture is one in which fixations are made generally available. Participants in the culture can modify those products and redistribute them back into the community or other organizations. Informing and inspiring the open source movement are the African call-and-response traditions, Jazz and the free dance movements which emerged in the 20th Century. Late 20th Century open source strategies include Fluxus, web jams, Wigglism and the international Hip Hop culture.

The rise of open-source culture in the 20th century resulted from a growing tension between creative practices that involve appropriation, and therefore require access to content that is often copyrighted, and increasingly restrictive intellectual property laws and policies governing access to copyrighted content. The two main ways in which intellectual property laws became more restrictive in the 20th century were extensions to the term of copyright (particularly in the United States) and penalties, such as those articulated in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), placed on attempts to circumvent anti-piracy technologies.

Although artistic appropriation is often permitted under fair use doctrines, the complexity and ambiguity of these doctrines creates an atmosphere of uncertainty among cultural practitioners. Also, the protective actions of copyright owners create what some call a "chilling effect" among cultural practitioners.

In the late 20th century, cultural practitioners began to adopt the intellectual property licensing techniques of free software and open-source software to make their work more freely available to others, including the Creative Commons.

The idea of an "open source" culture runs parallel to "Free Culture," but is substantively different. Free culture is a term derived from the free software movement, and in contrast to that vision of culture, proponents of OSC maintain that some intellectual property law needs to exist to protect cultural producers. Yet they propose a more nuanced position than corporations have traditionally sought. Instead of seeing intellectual property law as an expression of instrumental rules intended to uphold either natural rights or desirable outcomes, an argument for OSC takes into account diverse goods (as in "the Good life") and ends.

One way of achieving the goal of making the fixations of cultural work generally available is to maximally utilize technology and digital media. As predicted by Moore's law, the cost of digital media and storage plummeted in the late 20th Century. Consequently, the marginal cost of digitally duplicating anything capable of being transmitted via digital media dropped to near zero. Combined with an explosive growth in personal computer and technology ownership, the result is an increase in general population's access to digital media. This phenomenon facilitated growth in open source culture because it allowed for rapid and inexpensive duplication and distribution of culture. Where the access to the majority of culture produced prior to the advent of digital media was limited by other constraints of proprietary and potentially "open" mediums, digital media is the latest technology with the potential to increase access to cultural products. Artists and users who choose to distribute their work digitally face none of the physical limitations that traditional cultural producers have been typically faced with. Accordingly, the audience of an open source culture faces little physical cost in acquiring digital media.

Open source culture started as an idea without a name many years before the Internet. Richard Stallman codified the concept with the creation of the Free Software Foundation. However, even before Stallman and the Internet, as the public begain to communicate through Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) like FidoNet, places like Sourcery Systems BBS where dedicated to providing source code to Public Domain, Shareware and Freeware programs.

Essentially born out of a desire for increased general access to digital media, the Internet is open source culture's most valuable asset. It is questionable whether the goals of an open source culture could be achieved without the Internet. The global network not only fosters an environment where culture can be generally accessible, but also allows for easy and inexpensive redistribution of culture back into various communities. Some reasons for this are as follows.

First, the Internet allows even greater access to inexpensive digital media and storage. Instead of users being limited to their own facilities and resources, they are granted access to a vast network of facilities and resources, some for free. Sites such as offer up free web space for anyone willing to license their work under a Creative Commons license. The resulting cultural product is then available to download for free (generally accessible) to anyone with an Internet connection.

Second, users are granted unprecedented access to each other. Older analog technologies such as the telephone or television have limitations on the kind of interaction users can have. In the case of television there is little, if any interaction between users participating on the network. And in the case of the telephone, users rarely interact with any more than a couple of their known peers. On the Internet, however, users have the potential to access and meet millions of their peers. This aspect of the Internet facilitates the modification of culture as users are able to collaborate and communicate with each other across international and cultural boundaries. The speed in which digital media travels on the Internet in turn facilitates the redistribution of culture.

Through various technologies such as peer-to-peer networks and blogs, cultural producers can take advantage of vast social networks in order to distribute their products. As opposed to traditional media distribution, redistributing digital media on the Internet can be virtually costless. Technologies such as BitTorrent and Gnutella take advantage of various characteristics of the Internet protocol (TCP/IP) in an attempt to totally decentralize file distribution.


  • Open source governmentprimarily refers to use of open source software technologies in traditional government organizations and government operations such as voting.
  • Open politics (sometimes known as Open source politics) — is a term used to describe a political process that uses Internet technologies such as blogs, email and polling to provide for a rapid feedback mechanism between political organizations and their supporters. There is also an alternative conception of the term Open source politics which relates to the development of public policy under a set of rules and processes similar to the Open Source Software movement.
  • Open source governance — is similar to open source politics, but it applies more to the democratic process and promotes the freedom of information.


Open Source ethics is split into two strands:

  • Open Source Ethics as an Ethical School - Charles Ess and David Berry are researching whether ethics can learn anything from an open source approach. Ess famously even defined the AoIR Research Guidelines as an example of open source ethics.[1]
  • Open Source Ethics as a Professional Body of Rules - This is based principally on the computer ethics school, studying the questions of ethics and professionalism in the computer industry in general and software development in particular.[2]


Open source journalism — referred to the standard journalistic techniques of news gathering and fact checking, and reflected a similar term that was in use from 1992 in military intelligence circles, open source intelligence. It is now commonly used to describe forms of innovative publishing of online journalism, rather than the sourcing of news stories by a professional journalist. In the Dec 25, 2006 issue of TIME magazine this is referred to as user created content and listed alongside more traditional open source projects such as OpenSolaris and Linux.

Weblogs, or blogs, are another significant platform for open source culture. Blogs consist of periodic, reverse chronologically ordered posts, using a technology that makes webpages easily updatable with no understanding of design, code, or file transfer required. While corporations, political campaigns and other formal institutions have begun using these tools to distribute information, many blogs are used by individuals for personal expression, political organizing, and socializing. Some, such as LiveJournal or WordPress, utilize open source software that is open to the public and can be modified by users to fit their own tastes. Whether the code is open or not, this format represents a nimble tool for people to borrow and re-present culture; whereas traditional websites made the illegal reproduction of culture difficult to regulate, the mutability of blogs makes "open sourcing" even more uncontrollable since it allows a larger portion of the population to replicate material more quickly in the public sphere.

Messageboards are another platform for open source culture. Messageboards (also known as discussion boards or forums), are places online where people with similar interests can congregate and post messages for the community to read and respond to. Messageboards sometimes have moderators who enforce community standards of etiquette such as banning users who are spammers. Other common board features are private messages (where users can send messages to one another) as well as chat (a way to have a real time conversation online) and image uploading. Some messageboards use phpBB, which is a free open source package. Where blogs are more about individual expression and tend to revolve around their authors, messageboards are about creating a conversation amongst its users where information can be shared freely and quickly. Messageboards are a way to remove intermediaries from everyday life - for instance, instead of relying on commercials and other forms of advertising, one can ask other users for frank reviews of a product, movie or CD. By removing the cultural middlemen, messageboards help speed the flow of information and exchange of ideas.

OpenDocument is an open document file format for saving and exchanging editable office documents such as text documents (including memos, reports, and books), spreadsheets, charts, and presentations. Organizations and individuals that store their data in an open format such as OpenDocument avoid being locked in to a single software vendor, leaving them free to switch software if their current vendor goes out of business, raises their prices, changes their software, or changes their licensing terms to something less favorable.

Open source movie production is either an open call system in which a changing crew and cast collaborate in movie production, a system in which the end result is made available for re-use by others or in which exclusively open source products are used in the production. The 2006 movie Elephants Dream is said to be the "world's first open movie"[3], created entirely using open source technology.

An open source documentary film has a production process allowing the open contributions of archival material, footage, and other filmic elements, both in unedited and edited form. By doing so, on-line contributors become part of the process of creating the film, helping to influence the editorial and visual material to be used in the documentary, as well as its thematic development. The first open source documentary film to go into production "The American Revolution" [4]," which will examine the role that WBCN-FM in Boston played in the cultural, social and political changes locally and nationally from 1968 to 1974, is being produced by Lichtenstein Creative Media and the non-profit The Fund for Independent Media. Open Source Cinema is a website to create Basement Tapes, a feature documentary about copyright in the digital age, co-produced by the National Film Board of Canada. Open Source Filmmaking refers to a form of filmmaking that takes a method of idea formation from open source software, but in this case the 'source' for a film maker is raw unedited footage rather than programming code. It can also refer to a method of filmmaking where the process of creation is 'open' i.e. a disparate group of contributors, at different times contribute to the final piece.

Open-IPTV is IPTV that is not limited to one recording studio, production studio, or cast. Open-IPTV uses the Internet or other means to pool efforts and resources together to create an online community that all contributes to a show.


Within the academic community, there is discussion about expanding what could be called the "intellectual commons" (analogous to the Creative Commons). Proponents of this view have hailed the Connexions Project at Rice University, OpenCourseWare project at MIT, Eugene Thacker's article on "Open Source DNA", the "Open Source Cultural Database", openwebschool, and Wikipedia as examples of applying open source outside the realm of computer software.

Open source curricula are instructional resources whose digital source can be freely used, distributed and modified.

Another strand to the academic community is in the area of research. Many funded research projects produce software as part of their work. There is an increasing interest in making the outputs of such projects available under an open source license. In the UK the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) has developed a policy on open source software. JISC also funds a development service called OSS Watch which acts as an advisory service for higher and further education institutions wishing to use, contribute to and develop open source software.


CrossFit is an open source strength and conditioning fitness movement. Its founder freely shares his methodology and publishes a website with gigabytes of data, information and interactive forums. CrossFit athletes and instructors share their modifications, adaptations and enhancements. The result has been new CrossFit "flavors" including: CrossFit for Kids, CrossFit for Seniors, CrossFit in the Park, and CrossFit for Combat Athletes. Web posts and CrossFit Journal articles often focus on how to modify the program for specific groups who have only limited access to equipment. Examples include high school track athletes and soldiers in Iraq. CrossFit athletes also post YouTube videos and invite critiques of their form. [5]

Innovation communities[edit]

The principle of sharing predates the open source movement; for example, the free sharing of information has been institutionalized in the scientific enterprise since at least the 19th century. Open source principles have always been part of the scientific community. The sociologist Robert K. Merton described the four basic elements of the community - universalism (an international perspective), communism (sharing information), disinterestedness (removing one's personal views from the scientific inquiry) and organized skepticism (requirements of proof and review) that accurately describe the scientific community today. These principles are, in part, complemented by US law's focus on protecting expression and method but not the ideas themselves. There is also a tradition of publishing research results to the scientific community instead of keeping all such knowledge proprietary. One of the recent initiatives in scientific publishing has been open access - the idea that research should be published in such a way that it is free and available to the public. There are currently many open access journals where the information is available for free online, however most journals do charge a fee (either to users or libraries for access). The Budapest Open Access Initiative is an international effort with the goal of making all research articles available for free on the Internet. The National Institutes of Health has recently proposed a policy on "Enhanced Public Access to NIH Research Information." This policy would provide a free, searchable resource of NIH-funded results to the public and with other international repositories six months after its initial publication. The NIH's move is an important one because there is significant amount of public funding in scientific research. Many of the questions have yet to be answered - the balancing of profit vs. public access, and ensuring that desirable standards and incentives do not diminish with a shift to open access.

Benjamin Franklin was an early contributor eventually donating all his inventions including the Franklin stove, bifocals and the lightning rod to the public domain after successfully profiting off their sales and patents.

New NGO communities are starting to use the open source technology as a tool. One example is the Open Source Youth Network started in 2007 in Lisboa by ISCA members[6].

Open innovation is also a new emerging concept which advocate putting R&D in a common pool, the Eclipse platform is openly presenting itself as an Open innovation network [7]

Arts and recreation[edit]

Copyright protection is used in the performing arts and even in athletic activities. Some groups have attempted to remove copyright from such practices.[8]


Proposed content split[edit]

I'd like to propose that we need to split "Open content" into two distinct pages, with a corresponding disambiguation page. This is because "open content" has become a significant term of art in the data modeling, XML, and web services area, and this usage has essentially no overlap with the current Wikipedia 'open content' page. To confirm this, try searching the web for the terms 'open content' and 'WSDL', or 'open content' and 'schema'. --Geoffarnold—Preceding unsigned comment added by Geoffarnold (talkcontribs) 18:44, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Merge from free content[edit]

I don't think the difference between the two concepts "free content" and "open content" is significant enough to merit two separate articles. I know there is some technical differences between the two. But it would be more informative to readers if the two concepts are discussed at the same place; in particular, it would be easier to do comparison or talk about the history. -- Taku (talk) 07:41, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

as you say, they're different. And therefore they have to be treated separately. DGG (talk) 03:24, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, we can do them in the same place. Did you notice that the two articles contains a lot of duplication? -- Taku (talk) 09:22, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
I think this they both are similar enough that they should be the same article. It really is just the same concept, just rebranded with different people behind it, or should I say, people's names behind them. Threy are also both relatively short, as well. Rustyfence (talk) 06:03, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
Free content is a well-established, important subject that deserves an article, so no way should that article be merged into anything. This article, by its own terms, describes a neologism. I don't see anything to be served by merging the two articles. This article is all about distinguishing it from free content, and they are clearly different but related subjects. When two things are different but both notable and we want to distinguish one from the other, as a matter of style and organization it's best to keep the articles separate, and add a section to one or both highlighting the differences. Wikidemo (talk) 05:06, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
What is open content? Free content has a definition at, which, while not formally recognised, is at least the basis for a definition and has some informat recognition. I'd be worried about merging a defined topic into an undefined one. --Gronky (talk) 10:11, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Free content is an open content, but not vice versa, as I understand. That's how the article defines it and that's why the merger makes sense. There is several advantages for merging the two, but I don't want to repeat myself (you can read my initial post). Also, I don't see why notability or definiteness of the topic is an issue here. This is not AfD. No one has been arguing that free content is not non-notable or not a valid encyclopedic topic. -- Taku (talk) 10:53, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
My point was that I don't see any sources to support the view the "open content" is a concept. To what degree does this topic exist? It seems that it either isn't a topic at all, or it is a topic that the current editors have not yet managed to describe properly. In either case, this is a very under-developed article (in terms of substance, not in terms of number of words) and I don't think it is currently a good target for any mergers. --Gronky (talk) 22:21, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

outdent: Hello, having written a large portion of the Free content article, I would like to revive this discussion, if any of the original posters are still around. Recently a user asked per the difference, and I was unable to give an answer that I felt was sufficiently solid. If we use the definition of free content as stated in the free content article, than I would hazard that the difference between the definitions of the two are very fine indeed. Specifically I believe it would be good to produce a definition of open content here, to compare with the following definition of free content (taken from free content)

Free content, or free information, is any kind of functional work, artwork, or other creative content having no significant legal restriction relative to people's freedom to use, distribute copies, modify, and to distribute derived works of the content

the current definition of open content as per the article

Open content, a neologism coined by analogy with "open source", describes any kind of creative work, or content, published under a license that explicitly allows copying and modifying of its information by anyone, not exclusively by a closed organization, firm or individual.

I for one believe that the differences between the definitions are so vanishingly small that a merge into free content is a good idea. Comments regarding this are most appreciated. Thanks User A1 (talk) 06:35, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

I think there are major differences between what I'd define open content as and what I'd define free content as. As I've written here (under "Definition"), I think it is entirely possible for an entity to release something that is open source whilst having a restrictive, non-free licence. Though this is against what is written - the definition of open content appears to be pretty much the same as free content. (talk) 02:04, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

How to add new sub-section to Open Content entry?[edit]

There is also a publishing company... Open Content .US - - How do I split this Wikipedia entry into a sub-entry for Open Content .US? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Soulajax (talkcontribs) 09:57, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia is "largest" open content project?[edit]

The citation for this claim does not include a page number and I can't find how they measure "largest", so this claim is somewhat dubious. -Qeny (talk) 20:40, 16 May 2009 (UTC)


Should be added to the list of repositories?

Free and Open content[edit]

Note, same comment lead to thread at Talk:Free_content

What is the difference between Free content and open content? Saqib talk 08:25, 5 November 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Saqib Qayyum (talkcontribs)

I have a similar question. What are really the differences between free and open content terms? please review this. I see none. If you agree with me why not redirect this article to free content article? E235 (talk) 18:08, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Also look at this.E235 (talk) 18:35, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
There is a huge overlap but there is a difference (subtle but important). It is a question of perspective. See Say Libre for clarification.
Be sure also to distinguish free as in freedom (libre) from free as in free of charge (gratis). - K (talk) 02:22, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
While there can be many personal opinions on this subject, please note that this is an encyclopedia so any distinction between the two words need to be verifiable. The article says the difference is that free content accept commercial use where open content do not (based on FSF opinion about the OpenContent License). The Free content article claim that free and open content are identical, so later today I should change that. Both article should say that this distinction is only about the open content license, as work that classify themselves as open content but is not under that license might not be different from free content. Belorn (talk) 08:21, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
If I understand you correctly, Belorn, that's not quite true. It's not just the OpenContent License that is causing the confusion, but also the open content definition at That definition isn't limited to discussing the OpenContent License, it's discussing all content. In other words, there are works that could call themselves open content (based on the definition) that are (a) not free content and (b) not under the OpenContent License. --Sanglorian (talk) 11:30, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, the site is interesting. It talks about content being "more" open and "less open", with no direct requirements. Open content which follows all the 4R's would be identical to free content, while content that only follow some but not all of the 4R's would be considered as not free content (which the site describe as "less open" content). If we consider to be authoritative on this subject, we should change both the section here and the lead at Free content. I leave the authoritative nature of as a open question here since I have no instinctive feeling on the subject, beyond that the site "looks good". Belorn (talk) 12:54, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
Cheers Belorn. I agree that if is authoritative we need to change some things. However, I don't believe that is authoritative. At the very least, its definition is contrary to that proposed by the Open Knowledge Foundation - which as an active organisation I think should take precedent over the site. In addition, that definition of open content would be contrary to the analogous free/open source divide in software, where 'free' and 'open' are synonyms. Finally, the definition is essentially 'some rights reserved': any time less than full copyright applies to a work, it counts as open content. That's a very broad category - I'd go so far as to say that it's incoherent as a meaningful way of classifying material. Good to have this discussion. --Sanglorian (talk) 20:59, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
Do remember that an encyclopaedia is for historical interest. Describing even deprecated licences is valuable, especially if you can show how they have evolved over time or lead to new ways of thinking as contexts change. - K (talk) 23:33, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Very late to this discussion, but given how both pages have evolved, I'd like to add that the terms can still be distinguished from each other, but on the same page. E.g. a section called "Free vs Open content" / "Definitions" / "Similar historical concepts" or similar. I'd therefore support a merge. T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 23:39, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Explaining my edits[edit]

I have made a start at clarifying this article because I agree with the comments below that 'open content', 'open access', 'open source', 'free content' and the like are easily confused. 'Open content' itself seems to be used to describe 'libre content' and 'common content' at different times.

I deleted the reference to the OPL because that's a specific licence; the rest of the article suggests that other licences can also make content open (and I agree).

It's difficult to define open content because the Open Content website describes openness as a continuum. I'm going to return to this topic, because if it's a 'continuum' then it becomes very hard to claim that Wikipedia is the largest open content anything. There are larger projects that are less open; where does open content stop if not at the same place free content and libre content stop?

I think the claim about the Royal Society is dubious; open content is not open access or sharing knowledge.

Please contact me if there's anything you'd like to discuss.

--Khuxan (talk) 12:58, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Explaining My Edits[edit]

  • Open content (particularly in its broader contemporary form) is not an ‘alternative paradigm’ to copyright but rather permissions given by copyright holders to the general public.
  • The reference to ‘open access’ in the introduction didn’t provide evidence that open content is wrongly used to describe ‘open access’; the FSF article linked to didn’t use the terms ‘open content’ or ‘open access’.
  • Common content is no longer commonly used; I’ve removed it.
  • It’s my opinion that the open-content search engine section adds nothing; feel free to edit it back in if you disagree.

--Sanglorian (talk) 02:19, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

@Sanglorian: with this 18 November 2011 edit you added the statement "Unlike open source and free content, there is no clear threshold that a work must reach to qualify as 'open content'." Open-source what? Open-source content redirects to this article, so it's an oxymoron to say or imply that open-source content is unlike itself. – wbm1058 (talk) 20:18, 23 November 2018 (UTC)
Hi @Wbm1058:: Content under Open-source licenses, which are strictly defined. I'll edit it to make that clear. --Sanglorian (talk) 07:00, 27 November 2018 (UTC)

Recent attempts to insert unsourced material.[edit]

recently, an IP-shifting editor (, A Comcast Cable account from Greeley, Colorado and, a University of Northern Colorado account in Greeley, Colorado) has been trying to insert the following unsourced material.

"By definition, it is synonymous with works in the public domain.[1][2]

The very first citation in the article clearly specifies "Any changes anybody makes to it have to be clearly marked and credited, and that anything based on that content must also be under the OpenContent License". These restrictions do not exist in Public Domain works, but closely mirror those of the Gnu Public License. I have warned the IP editor about edit waring and asked him to discuss his proposed change here. --Guy Macon (talk) 14:01, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

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Elaboration of power optics for laser processing heads[edit]

Elaboration of power optics for laser processing heads Compar1983 (talk) 03:03, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

A Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item has been nominated for deletion[edit]

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