© Bali Jakarta Pictures, 2011

The 24th ICDE conference in Indonesia will be held 2–5 October, 2011 in Bali, Indonesia (click here for more details).

The conference theme is: Expanding Horizons – New Approaches to Open and Distance Learning (ODL)”.

Day two will open with presentations from Lawrence Lessig and Duk Hoon Kwak on the questions of ownership versus open source, and content sharing in relation to open and distance learning.

Lawrence Lessig is the Director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University, and a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Prof. Lessig serves on a number of boards including the Creative Commons and iCommons.org. His topic will be ‘Proprietary vs open source‘.

Duk Hoon Kwak is currently President and CEO of the Korea Educational Broadcasting System (EBS), a public television network dedicated to education with emphasis on lifelong public education. His topic will be ‘Content Sharing and ODL’

For registration and more details of the conference, go to: http://www.ut.ac.id/icde2011/


  1. Hi Tony, you seem to oppose open source and ownership. This can not be further from the truth. Open source licensors maintain full control of their intellectual property. Often times the bargain is free access for improvements that other users will come up with, without mentioning support, debugging, etc. Like peer review, passing your research around for testing and feedback does not mean you relinquish your ownership. This is not public domain.

    • Hi, Marc

      No, I don’t oppose open source or open content. This site is actually open content but protected by a Creative Commons license.

      What I oppose are two things often claimed for OERs: that it doesn’t matter what is offered, in terms of quality, as long as it’s open; and open content is the same as open education. Open education requires much more – such as learner support- than just open content for it to have real value for learners. There are many circumstances where open content, on its own, is valuable to a learner, but there are many other where they need support, guidance and accreditation

      Lastly, it’s not black and white: ‘open’ is good’ and ownership is ‘bad’. There are circumstances where creators of content need to be rewarded for their work. Copyright provides protection for such creators. It’s easy for instance for professors or researchers to argue that content created in the public education system should be free, because that’s what they are paid to do. But not all content that is used in education is created through this type of funding. Many works are created outside the public system and the creators of such work often depend on ownership and copyright, because that’s how they make their living. Ideally all education should be free and open – but that would require professors and instructors to work for nothing, and I don’t here that argued by proponents of open content.

      Now whether we have the right balance between access to content and protection of rights is another matter.

  2. Thanks Tony. In your blog you wrote: “questions of ownership versus open source”. I was disputing the choice of the word versus. Sorry for my poor English.

    Without ownership there would be no open source.

    Works in the public domain do not need licenses,open source or otherwise.

    • Sorry about the misunderstanding, Marc. It is actually the speakers/conference organisers who have phrased it as proprietary versus open source – I was merely reporting,

      best regards


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