June 2009
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Retention of copyright at ‘licence-in’

We have been having some lively debates regarding IPR issues.    It seems that the answer to most questions is ‘it all depends’ which is very frustrating when we are seeking definitive answers, which would in turn determine what action then takes place.

In conversation with some of our depositors, there is also much mis-information and misunderstanding even where there may be a definitive answer. I sense the need for a simple fact sheet if ever something so simple could be produced for something so complex!

Fortunately, within our project we have built in our University Legal Team and when they need further guidance we have budgeted for access to the firm of lawyers the University uses.

All this preamble is by way of sharing with others a definitive answer to a particular question – when resources are handed over to us who then has the copyright?

Rachael Morgan, our Intellectual Property Manager in our Legal Team provided the following response:

To confirm, under the OER arrangements, the author/originator will retain copyright in his/her work and will simply license, i.e. give permission to the University to use the material for the purposes of the OER. Since the ‘licence-in’ will be on a non-exclusive basis, the author/originator will still be able to use the material for his/her own purposes and could even non-exclusively license it elsewhere. The University will then ‘license-out’ the material to end-users again on a non-exclusive basis only for such purposes as set out in the licence – we discussed a non-commercial/attribution Creative Commons type licence.

Phew!  One down …..

Tom Browne

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