Reference, not ripping?
In thinking more about the implications of the scenario I sketched out previously, it occurs to me that one effect a reliance on reference rather than rip-mix-burn might ultimately be to sort out many of the license compatibility questions floating around out there. As a quick review, the idea is that learning materials may be less reusable than disposable, with materials created and shared in such volume that it makes little sense to actually pull them down locally or into some closed system and lay hands on them directly, and more sense to point to them where they lay resting in OCW-like semi permanent collections, providing a little context as you do so.
As a for instance, then, I might develop my “lecture notes” for a class in a blog, pointing out to resources on opencourseware sites, wikipedia, a site with my own teaching materials (such as tOFP), the New York Times site, other blogs, etc, etc. With each blog post pointing out, I provide whatever context my students will need, including definitions/translations of key phrases, additional explanations to adjust for the level of the student, links to software needed to run the resource, and so on. This provides “contextualization on the go” without having to actually move the resource out of or into any particular system.
It also allows me to mix together resources under a range of licenses as well as materials fully protected by copyright, with clear and consistent attribution and contextualization, in a format easy to follow for my students. I realize this might get a little awkward with multipage PDFs, but saying “the second graph on page 15” isn’t that difficult, and it might be to the students’ advantage to see previous contexts of use for the material in question.