Over on that infamous Telegram group where all good threads go to die, @ravi312 wrote
I think more awareness should happen about licensing and OER so that people are better informed and it becomes part of documentation process. I wish, educators and children can be introduced to this important topic early on as part of their digital literacy coursework including themes such as privacy, surveillence and ethics.
Here was my response, archived here for posterity, and also for the reading and contributing pleasure of others.
In my view, privacy, surveillance and ethics, yes (for children, esp). Licensing, meh. I am not sure. Which is a polite way of saying that I am quite sure the answer should be no
Children (and adults) should be taught to be nice, to give credit when they use someone else’s work, to ask first if it is not already clear, but to make it clear in the first place (if they are the creator). The law should always be the last resort in a civilized, nice place.
I wrote the following (7 years ago! my god!) with regards to medical info, but the part about the three locks is what I want to point out as being relevant to this discussion. To summarize
There are three locks that can be used to keep private information private: social, technological, legal.
The social lock marks information as one that should not be reverse engineered beyond the limits permitted by the donor. This lock is the default first defense.
The technological lock makes it difficult to re-identify de-identified information. This lock kicks in after the social lock has been breached.
The legal lock provides penalties for those who breach both the first and the second locks.
See, the law should be a deterrent to bad behavior, not an incentive for good behavior. Incentive for good behavior, in a civil society, should be just niceness… just being nice, kind, generous. Law should only exist so one can lean on it when being nice fails.
My dream institution would be, by design like so: “you want to work here? We will pay you a salary to create knowledge. But once you create it, it will be available to everyone everywhere forever. You may use only one of these following licenses to publish your work.” Of course, there are many subtleties and complexities to this that I am glossing over, but for now… this sets the tone