Copyright and Collaborative Spaces: Open Licensing and Wikis

Abstract: Botterbusch and Parker use the example of wikis to explore the collaborative space they see between the two extremes of full copyright protection and full freedom of content.

After surveying a few different opinions as to where wikis fall under current copyright law - an ambiguous space - they briefly explore the three popular types of licenses that govern most online collaborative spaces:

These licenses, they claim, allow authors to choose how to balance the importance of improving the content in that space with that of protecting their and the community's rights.


Similar to Botterbusch and Parker, I am a BIG fan of these more contemporary versions of copyright licensing: especially Creative Commons. I think that the modular flexibility it allows will hold great utility for the coming age of digital scholarship.

It is likely that different modules will be used by scholars at different stages of their careers. But it is an excellent step towards more open scholarship and increases the likelihood of more useful knowledge making its way into the public domain.

Botterbusch, H. R., & Parker, P. (2008). Copyright and Collaborative Spaces: Open Licensing and Wikis. TechTrends, 52(1), 7-9. Retrieved October 12, 2008, from