Openness: What is it and how do we evaluate it?

The presentation consists of a short introduction to Creative Commons licenses and some thoughts on their use, as well as the means for evaluating the result of such use. Creative Commons licenses are not only a legal tool, but also a means for communicating the freedoms and restrictions that the initial creator wishes for a work to carry. They provide options to the initial creator, with varying degrees of freedom granted to subsequent creators or users. Now if we were to examine license use at a global level, how would we evaluate outcomes? Based on the number of works that have been licensed under CC? Or should we examine how ‘free’ a particular license is? I generally conclude that apart from any quantitative data concerning license adoption, we must understand how license use is implicated in relations of power or dominance. To the extent that their use facilitates the questioning or rebalancing of such relationships, the outcome is positive. Where that does not happen, benefits are doubtful.