I'm sorry if this has been asked somewhere else or should not be posted here but we have several teachers in our division that are curious about H5P content. The fact that it was created as a plugin by an external company has generated a few questions:
- How are they making money off of it?
- What happens if that company decides to pull that plug-in or ask for a payment for use?
- What is the liability if a teacher accidentally uses copyrighted material? Would the individual teacher be liable for that mistake?
Thank you for the help.
- We're getting hired by several organizations (often universities or other institutions close to education) for extending the functionality of H5P. Also, in the very near future, there will be h5p.com which offers features on top of just providing content types, e.g. data storage or analysis. Those will not be free.
- H5P is open source software, so even we went down or became dickheads, someone could take the mantle and establish something like a core team to continue development. If someone wants to, he or she could also do that right now and fork the whole project. Feel free to judge how open and dedicated we are by having a look at our source code, lively discussions on our forums or our ticket system where you can even track what we're working on. We may be a company, but H5P is a community project and should be to a larger degree even.
- Are you asking if we should be held accountable for copyright infringement by others?
Q1 & 2: Yes, the idea of Free and Open Source Software is a change of paradigm. Read about the GPL http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.txt, which is also the https://docs.moodle.org/dev/License of Moodle.
Q3: Accidents happen. But no software developer takes responsibility for accidents at the user end!
Thanks for the reply.
I guess I worded the copyright question wrong. I was worried more about it in a different way.
> Q1. How are they making money off of it?
Probably you meant https://h5p.org/ and got the answer from a developer. The point is, there are many, many different models in financing a FOSS product. To make the matters complicated, the model of a particular product may change during its history. So the general question has no full answer.
> Q2. What happens if that company decides to pull that plug-in or ask for a payment for use?
Only in some FOSS products you can talk of a commercial company. h5p is launching https://h5p.com/. Moodle has a "HQ" https://moodle.com/ since a very long time. I don't know about the https://h5p.org/the-core-team, but many FOSS products revolve around their inventors, with or without a company. Moodle is one of them. So their futures are entangled, and our derivatives inevitably too.
I guess #3 is hard to tell, because it can depend on the jurisdiction you're under or the organization you're in. For example, professors in Germany have something called "Institutshaftung" where the university is liable unless the professor was clearly negligent. It's different for teachers in schools, where the exact terms can depend on the federal district you're in, etc. Sorry for not being more helpful.
I'm betting your initial fear is that you have invested in 3rd party plugins in the past and gotten everyone onboard using it only to have the rug pulled out from underneath you.
You don't want to be burned again and are being cautious in adopting any additional plugins.
We are the same way. So much so that we use Moodle for that very reason, in that we are in control of our LMS. We can say with certainty that until we turn off the servers we can provide teachers with this service.
We quickly adopted the H5P plugin based on what we saw in their forums, the usefulness of the plugin to teachers, and just a general feeling that this is too good to not offer to our teachers - even if it went away. Almost an "enjoy it while you can" assumption.
As you can see from Oliver they are very much interested in keeping this open source. I wouldn't delay trying it out. It's very good.