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Open licensing

Understand open licensing, types of licences, issues and challenges, the impact of open licensing and digitization of intellectual property, as well as different business models associated with open licensing.

Good Stories Don’t Grow on Trees: How much does it cost to produce high-quality reading resources?

This presentation was created for the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) workshop in Nairobi on National Book and Reading Policies for Africa from 17th to 19th June 2019. The presentation addresses issues related to the cost of storybook creation and adaptation of storybooks. 

Librarians, Communities and Open Licensing: How Do the Pieces Fit Together?

This presentation was delivered delivered on 22 May, 2019 at the 3rd African Library & Information Association (AfLIA) Conference and 5th African Library Summit, held at the Weston Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. The theme of the conference was ‘African libraries creating the Africa we want and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals’.

This presentation is not a comprehensive review. We are focusing on two areas on which we are working:

  • Collaboration with AfLIA and university librarians by OER Africa, an initiative of Saide
  • Work by Neil Butcher & Associates (NBA) on promoting early literacy in mother-tongue languages
  • Open licensing and the importance of librarians to these efforts tie the two examples together and demonstrate how much librarians can contribute

Open Licensing of Primary Grade Reading Materials: Considerations and Recommendations

Restrictive copyrights can limit how likely reading resources are to be used, shared or repurposed, which significantly diminishes the potential impact of the materials.  Donors and international organizations are increasingly investing in open educational resources, as they are interested in ensuring that educational materials reach the greatest possible number of learners, and that broad access to those materials is not compromised at the conclusion of programs.  

In cooperation with Creative Commons (CC), the Reading within Reach team developed Open Licensing of Primary Grade Reading Materials: Considerations and Recommendations. This new GRN resource provides:

  • An overview of copyright and licensing
  • The benefits of open licenses
  • Guidance on choosing and marking work with open licenses
  • Advice on how to engage stakeholders in selecting an open license
  • A review of open license business models and ways to leverage open licenses

Watch the recent webinars on Open Licensing provided by Global Reading Network: You can access the webinars at the following links: Creative Commons Basics (an overview of Creative Commons and open licensing); Open Licensing Business Models (a look at how publishers in Africa and Asia are incorporating open licensing); and Approaches to Open Licensing for Early Grade Reading Materials (explaining different Creative Commons licenses and previewing the forthcoming resource).

What makes a Great Translation?

If you are planning to translate a storybook from one language to another, then these recommendations are for you. They offer helpful ideas on how to ensure the final story in the new language is high quality. A high-quality translation is one that was not necessarily translated word-for-word, but that retains the meaning and sensibility of the original story in the new language. At the same time, the new story may adjust to the specifics of a new language (e.g. the complexity of certain words), as well as the cultural context that comes with the new language. Essentially, translating is creating a new version of a story in another language.

High quality translations are important because they hold the power to create more quality stories for children to read. This is valuable especially in languages where written stories are scarce. In South Africa, the publishing industry focuses on Afrikaans and English, while African-language storybooks remain few. With quality translations, however, a publisher, NGO, writer or others can take a single written story and multiply it into more.

These recommendations were created through the Results in Education for All Children (REACH) Project and funded by the REACH trust fund at the World Bank and the Global Book Alliance. The goal of the REACH Project is to impact the children’s storybook industry in South Africa to ensure all children have exciting stories to read.

Report on a Workshop on Open Licensing and Digital Disruption in Early Literacy in the Developing World

In 2015, NBA received a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to explore the potential for open licensing in enhancing the availability of mother-tongue early-literacy reading resources in the developing world. This research covered the impact of open licensing on the early reader ecosystem, emerging innovations, and the implications for the supply and use of early literacy reading materials in low income countries. In late 2016, NBA received a follow-on grant to continue this work and carry out both desk case studies and action research in a few countries. The work being carried out by NBA complements the Global Book Alliance (GBA), which is led by the US Agency for International Development and other donors. The GBA is a multi-stakeholder, international effort to transform book development, procurement, distribution and usage to get books for more children, through new solutions and innovations.

As part of the NBA grant, this workshop brought together key players in the field as part of the process, to create a forum for key players in early literacy from the global South to exchange ideas and develop a shared action research agenda for open licensing in early literacy.

Pragmatic Approaches to Open Licensing: A presentation

Pragmatic Approaches to Open Licensing: Is revenue generation possible? This presentation was created for the Association for the Development in Africa (ADEA) and Global Book Alliance Seminar on Open Licensing in Accra, Ghana on 2 September, 2018.

Open Licensing and Publishing in Africa: A presentation

Open Licensing and Publishing in Africa: What is open licensing and why is it topical to authors, publishers and illustrators? This presentation was created for the Association for the Development in Africa (ADEA) and Global Book Alliance Seminar on Open Licensing in Accra, Ghana on 2 September, 2018.

ADEA GBA Report on the Regional Workshop for African Book Industry Stakeholders: 22-25 January, 2018

The Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), through its Working Group on Books and Learning Materials (WGBLM), teamed up with the Global Book Alliance (GBA) to dialogue with African book industry stakeholders about publishing and use of materials in mother-tongue languages, and to come up with a way forward. The dialogue focused on how to ensure sustainable book provision for children in lower primary schools by improving the creation, production, access, distribution and use of books in local languages.

Seventy key stakeholders in the African book publishing industry, representing eleven Francophone, ten Anglophone, one Lusophone country, as well as twelve representatives of development partners, held a high-level technical meeting to: (i) present the GBA’s mission, vision, objectives, strategies; (ii) strengthen local coordination of major stakeholders (writers, publishers, booksellers, and reading specialists); and (iii) improve local coordination and policy dialogue between governments and book professionals in implementing book provision.

Calibrating Copyright for Creators and Consumers: Promoting Distributive Justice and Ubuntu

This chapter considers how a reimagined copyright law might be more appropriate for children’s literature, which is so sorely lacking in disadvantaged communities around the world. It does so by envisaging a copyright law that furthers the public interest by applying principles of distributive justice, with reference to the African concept of ‘Ubuntu’.

Open Educational Resources in the Commonwealth 2016

This study was conducted as part of the OER for Skills Development project of Commonwealth of Learning (COL), supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The objective of the study was to collect baseline data from Commonwealth institutions with respect to the development, use and reuse of OER; the availability of support; and challenges faced in fostering the use of OER. Six research questions were formed, after reviewing previous studies, to analyse the status of OER in the Commonwealth, based on four recommendations from the 2012 UNESCO Paris OER Declaration.

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