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Federal Open Licensing Playbook

“Federal agencies are increasingly using open licensing to expand the impact and reach of their work, enable innovative use of federally-funded materials, and ensure that publicly funded resources are available to the public. We note shared practices and considerations, common to the federal open licensing efforts thus far. This Playbook provides a practitioner’s guide to using open licenses in the federal context, based on the shared experience. It is not intended to be prescriptive but rather to offer expertise and lessons-learned to federal grants managers interested in exploring or using openly licensed resources as a component of their programs. The Plays are sequential, addressing different stages of program formation. This Playbook ranges from Plays on standards and usability, to training and funding models, to monitoring and sustainability. Individual Plays and the entire Playbook itself are not universally applicable. It may not be appropriate to openly license certain resources funded by federal grants or contracts because of national security or personal security requirements. Traditional copyright restrictions may also be necessary insome cases. Yet an increasing number of federally funded resources can best serve the public interest by being openly licensed. The Playbook is designed to be a living document that is updated as new information becomes available. The first draft of this Playbook was developed by the Subcommittee on Global Education of the Advisory Committee to the Secretary of State’s Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society. It includes input from multiple federal agencies, as well as private sector and civil society organizations. If there are questions this Playbook doesn’t answer or would like to suggest additions, please let us know at openedresources@state.gov. We welcome your feedback for future iterations of this resource at any time.”

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