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Open content licensing is an alternative to traditional copyright licensing. In contrast to copyright, which restricts the use and distribution of content for the benefit of the copyright holder, open content licensing has been devised to make original content freely and more widely available to the general public. This entry first discusses the technological changes that led to open content licensing, the rationale for open content licensing, and examples of open content licenses. It then discusses the implications of open content licensing for education.

Educational institutions, government entities, and for-profit and nonprofit organizations have historically limited the public availability of content through means such as secure websites, proprietary databases, intranets, and learning/course management systems—each of which requires access codes and passwords available only to selected users. ...

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