Friday, January 9, 2015

Rowan berries: Licensing clarification from MIT OCW for WUaS, Highest quality STEM-centric CC OpenCourseWare WUaS, MIT OCW's email and WUaS's reply

On 1/9/15 8:29 AM, Yvonne Ng wrote:

Dear Scott,

Thank you for keeping us in the loop with WUaS' progress. It's terrific to see that WUaS will soon be able to offer certificates for students studying and using your educational resources and platform.

We certainly appreciate your offer to contribute your materials to OCW, however the intent of OCW is that our Web site should reflect the course as it was taught at MIT. The reason for this policy is that members of the MIT faculty author materials presented on the OCW site, and thus, our faculty take final responsibility for these materials.  Because your materials are not part of MIT courses, we cannot add them to our site. 

I'll send you information about becoming a translation affiliate. 

I know in the past you had conversations with Steve Carson about using OCW in WUaS efforts. And while we certainly encourage the use, reuse, mix, and distribution of our content, WUaS seems to be presenting our content outside of our guidelines. (

Some examples are:
. Using "MIT-OCW centric" in all of your communications. 
. Advertising, both on the page where the content is a major draw and on gateway pages through which a user must navigate to get to the OCW content
. Using MIT's name in relation to accrediting:
           -'accrediting for bachelor and Ph.D. degree programs on Audio/Video Lectures at MIT OpenCourseWare.'
           -'Free, Bachelor's degrees, accrediting on MIT OCW'
            -in this email: 'students applying this autumn 2015, as if applying to MIT itself,'

Please make adjustments to your site to conform to the creative commons license we use and MIT's use of name policy (

If you have other questions about MIT's use of name policy, please contact Peter Bebergal who is copied on this note and he'll be happy to chat with you.


Ms. Yvonne Ng
External Outreach and Annual Giving Manager
OpenCourseWare | Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT Office of Digital Learning
145 Broadway, Suite 101 | Cambridge, MA 02142
Tel: 617-253-4719 | Fax: 617-253-2115 | Email: | - OCW's Highlights for High School


Dear Yvonne and Peter,

Thank you for your email and for this clarification about MIT's CC and name policies. Per previous communication with MIT OCW, WUaS has been seeking to, and will continue to seek to, comply with both Creative Commons' and CC MIT OCW licensing, as a Creative Commons' licensed organization ourselves.

Last time WUaS communicated with Steve Carson, when he was MIT OCW External Relations Director, (and with whom I met twice in person over about 2 years in Cambridge, MA, to talk about WUaS and MIT OCW), and perhaps with you as well, Yvonne, (I'll have to check those emails), WUaS was asked to include the words "Not endorsed by MIT OCW" (as you'll see on the bottom of this email) on everything we printed, which we have tried to do.

What CC WUaS seeks to do in part is create a wiki around highest quality sharable CC OpenCourseWare, such as MIT OCW and Yale OYC. WUaS may seek to use this phrases "great universities' OpenCourseWare," or "highest quality STEM CC OpenCourseWare," or something similar, now instead. Peter and Yvonne, do you think this would meet CC MIT OCW name policy and CC licensing requirements?

And thank you for the clarification that MIT OCW will not add CC "Linked Open Data," and in all of its 9 languages, as machine learning and artificial intelligence develop, per the general inquiry in my email below ("... offer to contribute your materials to OCW").

Yvonne, I think I know how to locate the MIT OCW languages' licensing agreement web page at MIT OCW, as well, about which we've communicated in the past.

WUaS will consider some of the implications of this at our WUaS monthly business meeting tomorrow.

Peter, could we possibly please chat some time next week about developments from this on the phone?

Again, WUaS will seek to follow the licensing requirements outlined in your email, Yvonne. I'm copying WUaS Board members, Larry Viehland (a MIT alumnus), Gantt Galloway, and well as Steve Carson, in this email, for their information.

Thank you again for your email.



Dear Scott,

Thank you for your response. Using the alternative phrase is very fine. The advertising on your site still needs to be addressed.

Also a colleague pointed out:
      In their "World University and School Licensing" section, they're carrying the wrong license:
      All content on this site is freely available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 International (CC BY-SA 3.0) - .

      This should be corrected as soon as possible to reflect that MIT OCW content is excluded from this statement.

All the best,


Dear Yvonne,

Thank you for your further clarifications.

I've made the licensing changes you mention (did I make them all correctly?) to CC WUaS's key wiki "SUBJECT_TEMPLATE" - - which should "pipe through" to all wiki pages in all 7,000 + languages as WUaS begins to develop inter-lingually and grow. Our plan in moving to (hopefully and soon) CC Wikidata / Wikibase / MediaWiki in multiple languages is to leave the Wikia wiki with its advertising behind. WUaS is seeking to further correct all of this as soon as possible.

Thank you.

All the best,


Hi Jim S, Jim H, Markus, Gantt, Larry, Steve and Yassi,

Nice to talk with you just now, Jim S.

CC MIT OCW has asked CC WUaS to move away from having advertising on our WUaS pages with CC MIT OCW courses on them, such as are on the Wikia wiki pages where WUaS is currently hosted - as soon as possible.

What this means too is that WUaS needs to develop our main page - - probably with Word Press while developing a database of Universitians, as well as move to Wikidata / Wikibase / MediaWiki et al. accessing WikiCommons - as soon as possible.

Per MIT OCW requests today, I've updated key licensing and name questions on CC WUaS's key wiki "SUBJECT_TEMPLATE" - - which should eventually "pipe through" to all WUaS wiki pages in all 7,000 + languages as WUaS begins to develop inter-lingually and grow.

WUaS is seeking further to correct MIT OCW-related questions and respond to their helpful emails, as soon as possible, as well.

Thank you.

All the best,

- Scott MacLeod - Founder & President  
- 415 480 4577
- PO Box 442, (86 Ridgecrest Road), Canyon, CA 94516
- World University and School - like Wikipedia with MIT OpenCourseWare (not endorsed by MIT OCW) - incorporated as a nonprofit university and school in California, and is a U.S. 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt educational organization, both effective April 2010. 



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