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This article is letter (O) of our “Value My Content" series where we write an article for each letter of the phrase. “Value My Content" showcases the value individuals can receive from their content . Find links to more articles in the series below.
The internet is a super fun place to be. And you can thank Open Content for that!
The name is pretty self-explanatory, Open Content refers to any online content that anyone is free to use, modify, or copy freely without permission.
What Is Open Content?
There is no “hard” definition of Open Content, it just happens to be one of the most used terms. You may hear other people refer to it as creative commons, open license, open access, open educational resources, or free content.
Of course, all these terms technically mean different things. But for the most part, people are generally referring to content that is free to use without permission.
Open Content is said to exist under an open license. A Creative Commons license is one such example. Also known as a CC license, Creative Commons gives free access and distribution to an otherwise copyrighted work. Usually the author of the piece of content grants a CC license.
Open Content Vs. Gated Content
There is a fairly big divide between the two camps.
On one hand, open source makes resources free and available for everyone to use.
On the other hand, those in the Gated Content camp argue Open Content makes it hard for eBusinesses to survive.
Here are a few tidbits on what others have to say about the divide:
In Favor Of Open Source
“There is so much competition online now that you would have to be exceptional to have content that's worth paying for. With so many sites on every topic, most people will just bounce to a site that offers the same thing you do for free. Might as well keep it open and try to monetize in other ways.”
"If you are just starting out and you want to penetrate the market, then open content is the way to go. I've been developing and maintaining websites for almost 5 years already and my most successful sites are open content sites. There are different ways to monetize open content sites from adsense to affiliate marketing."
In Favor Of Gated Content
“I think it ultimately depends on the type of information being presented. It's easy to say "everything should be free!". But when there are no means of profiting from information, how are you supposed to fund resource intensive, and very important bodies of work like investigative journalism? We all wish marshmallows fell from the sky, but here in the real world, important stuff costs money.”
“And now to pay bills we have to charge for content. And it's possible that by going with gated content it can make things a bit easier. You can see that many companies are choosing this route. So it should be taken seriously for sure.”
How To Use Open Content
OpenContent.org gives a great breakdown of how you can use Open Content. Here are the 5R activities of Open Content:
Retain - the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
Reuse - the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
Revise - the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
Remix - the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
Redistribute - the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)
While a lot of the content we consume online is open content, we believe everyone deserves to receive the value of their personal online content. We call this type of online empowered life the Content Lifestyle. To learn more, check out our About page here!
This article is part of our “Value My Content” series where we write an article for each letter of the phrase. “Value My Content showcases the value individuals can receive from their content.
Click below to read more articles in the “Value My Content” series: