June 2009
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Reflections: induction session three

In the third induction session a lengthy discussion was held on the subject of insurance and copyright. It didn’t resolve all our queries, but it did raise some issues for further exploration.

A provisional flow chart was created, that would be given to the academic with their material. As they annotate their course material, it will ask:

  1. Are they the owner of the copyright?
  2. Or have they licensed that material, either exclusively or non-exclusively?
  3. If yes to 2) – does the prior licensing arrangement mean that we have to get permission from that licensee before it can be used for OER?

The importance of an audit trail was stated. We considered a colour coding system to annotate the materials in terms of original authors / licensing arrangements.

It’s likely that every licensing circumstance will be different and the process could become quite involved and complex – but we have to balance this with keeping the document that we provide the academic relatively simple to complete. We need to come up with a format where we have a few simple steps, and behind each one (depending on what that step flags up) is a whole seperate process that can be called up if necessary.

The author of any work automatically owns the copyright on that work unless it is in the process of employment, in which case the employer owns the copyright on the work. However, the IP policy of the University is that it (as the employer) waives these rights to ownership of copyright. As a result there needs to be a licensing arrangement (licence-in) between course authors (academics) and the University in order to place the materials in an OER repository – and then a second licence (licence-out) between the University and the end-user.

If we cannot find a suitable Creative Commons licence then we will create an Open Exeter licence. We decided to look at Creative Commons rather than Casper (JISC) because CC is more widely recognised internationally.

We discussed the use of photographs and videos of (for example) field trips which include past students. Rachael (the IP manager for the University) will seek legal advice on the permissions we would need to use these.

We wondered if other institutions have dealt with these areas in the past have policies that they might share?

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