Saturday, December 12, 2009

Developing copyright policy at UC

I have heard a rumor that the University of Canberra may be reviewing its Intellectual Property policy. I'm keen to make a proposal to that review, that UC changes its copyright policy to a default of Creative Commons Attribution. Those familiar with my work will recognise I made this same proposal to Otago Polytechnic - to which they agreed and went ahead with.

The CCby license structure for UC will assist and encourage staff to retain rights over their work when entering into contracts with publishers, as well as the development of open access research culture at UC. If some publishers reject the UC staff member's proposed license, then staff decide for themselves whether or not to enter into an agreement with such publishers under their usual all rights reserved models.

To be clear here, this proposal is a compromise for me. My real and perhaps radical opinion is that individuals and organisations think of ways to resist copyright as an organising principle all together. I'm well aware that those who I aim to make this proposal to will dismiss such a position, so the Creative Commons Attribution license structure is my compromise, and perhaps the most pragmatic step at this moment.

At the very least, a CCBy default will encourage and help publishing staff to negotiate the retention of their own rights to republish, and will assist in the promotion of open access to important and largely publicly subsidised research information. Further though, such a policy move will generate substantial publicity for UC (as it did for Otago Polytechnic), being the first Australian University to adopt such a stance. To my interpretation, all this is very much in line with the strategic direction of the University.

My boss seems enthused by this proposal, so I've gathered up information relating to the same policy change I proposed at Otago Polytechnic. Below is a link role I will keep adding to over time. I hope I get a chance to propose this to UC leadership, I feel quite confident that it is a logical, moral and economically sound thing to propose, and that the culture at UC is ready to consider such an approach to copyrights.


nadia said...

I hope you can convince your University. Go for it Leigh!

Keane Wheeler said...

Intellectual property policies are always difficult and time consuming to develop. In general, the more forward thinking Universities allow staff to use their intellectual property developed during their working tenure for non-commercial purposes. I think that UC currently allows this. Building on this, I would like to see more emphasise put on open access to the general public which would see the University become more like a public repository. I was involved with devloping the intellectual property policy at the University of the Sunshine Coast and would love to be inolved with the further developments of a policy at UC. It would need to a policy that is flexible to meet the needs of UC's future. exciting!

Leigh Blackall said...

Good on you Keane! It'd be good to put a strong and considered proposal up. I'm just reading through the existing policy now.. it is pretty good, but a Creataive Commons Attribution copyright policy would be better.. mainly because it will assist staff retain rights to their work, but also because... it'll make UC famous :) not a trivial thing really, but certainly not the main reason.

If you get a chance, take a look at the links to the stories about Otago Polytechnic. I'm planning to propose the same thing at UC, unless someone spots a flaw...

Sarah Stewart said...

I have found working under a Creative Commons license at work to be really liberating. It hasn't meant I've gone out to be wild and wacky, but it does allow me to publish my material in places like SlideShare without feeling worried I'll be 'told off'.

Thanks to Leigh for driving implementation of CC license at Otago Polytechnic.