Buzzpedia:License Briefs

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Our class has worked together to build the Buzzpedia wiki. Now we will decide what license to release the content on the Buzzpedia wiki under. That is to say, we will decide what legal language we should use to tell others how we will allow, or not allow, them to re-use the work we have completed for Buzzpedia. For this section of class, we will work in groups to present, and argue in favor of, six Creative Commons licenses. Each group needs to write a short essay (brief) making the strongest possible case in favor of its assigned license, and then present this argument to the class. We will then discuss the licenses on the Wiki, debate the two licenses we like best, and assign our wiki a license.

Information about the six licenses, and about the Creative Commons project in general, can be found here:

To find out what group you are in, and which license your group has been assigned, click on the link for your section below:


Each group must compose a short (about 500 word) brief presenting their assigned license to the class and arguing in favor of our class adopting this license. Briefs will be composed on the wiki. Work together to compose a brief that uses professional and correct written English, and composes arguments using paragraphs to organize distinct ideas (NOTE: this does not mean a "five paragraph essay.") Each brief must have the following sections:

  • Introduction: briefly introduce your argument to the class. Close with a sentence that sums up the argument the rest of the essay supports (thesis statement).
  • License: briefly explain the license your section has been assigned to the class. In your own words, what does this license entail?
  • Examples: provide the class with some examples of work currently available under the selected license (Creative Commons has tools to help you find these). Explain how these examples show the advantages of using the license.
  • Argument: this should be the longest section. Explain to the class why you believe this license is the best choice for our class wiki. Explain your reasoning. Rebut counterexamples. Use the work of Lessig and Stallman as an example.

Compose your brief on the appropriate wiki page below. Briefs must be complete by the end of the day on Monday, October 25.

Briefs are worth 35 points and will be evaluated based on the following rubric:

Clarity: Can a reader easily understand the draft? Does the draft avoid awkward

or constructions and grammatical errors that obscure meaning? Does the draft
communicate the facts on its topic to the reader?

0-12 Points
Completeness: Does the draft fully answer the questions above? Does it

communicate all the required information to the reader? Does it meet the
length requirements set for the assignment?

0-11 Points
Style: Does the draft engage the reader? Does it hold the reader's interest?

Does it avoid vocabulary, constructions and grammatical errors that would make
it seem inappropriate to the academic setting?

0-12 Points


During the week of October 25-29, all six groups must present their arguments in favor of the selected licenses to the class in a series of presentations. Presentations are scheduled as follows:

Monday, October 25: Groups 1+2

Wednesday, October 27: Groups 3+4

Friday, October 29: Groups 5+6

Presentations should last approximately 15 minutes. The class will then have ten minutes to ask questions of the group presenting. Participation in Q+A, like all class activities, is worth class participation points. Groups should do their best to translate their written argument into the medium of verbal presentation. This means:

  • Preparing appropriate visuals
  • Speaking in a clear, organized manner
  • Practicing good non-verbal communication skills (make eye contact with the class, etc.)

Presentations are worth 30 points, and will be evaluated on how well or poorly groups accomplish the tasks above.

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