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Doug Clow

Good points (and ta for the link!).

I think Universities tend to be (over-)punctilious about Rights issues, thanks to ancient habits and concerns about giving proper attribution, which is an entirely legitimate and core concern for scholars.

There's the Creative Commons BY option now, of course, but in practice even that minimalist requirement is ignored by most remixers. People like us try to be careful about this sort of thing, because we really want to preserve the (academic?) good that is rigorous attribution, but most people couldn't care less and don't bother even if they notice that they could avoid their habitual illegality by sticking your name on the stuff.

We can do a lot though - the push to Open Access publishing is very important, I think, and the entire OER movement. But I'm preaching to the choir making that point here :-)

Alma Hales

Easier said than done Martin. Like it or not the CDPA is an economic tool.

BTW I've heard that the rights processes at the OU are excellent - I've also heard they acquire content at very low cost. Perhaps if they had difficulty with your authored work you had inadvertently given your rights away to another publisher?


Alma - that's not my point. The OU copyright services in the OU are excellent. In fact their very diligence is part of the problem. We make sure every possible image, music clip, or person in a video clip is cleared for rights. And this is playing the copyright control game. It effectively blocks their use by normal people who don't have the OU to chase up clearance. So my argument is whether universities should be taking a stand on behalf of others. An example might be, instead of trying to clear everything in our video archive we make a stand and release it all arguing it is for the common good to do so.
The use of an article is a very small case - I think it was cleared at no cost, but the fact that we had to ask really bothers me. It is an indication of how the wrong-headedness of copyright has become such a standard practice that we don't even acknowledge it anymore. I wrote the effing thing, they make money off it, and then we have to go and ask if could we please use it to teach students?

Peter Keane

Excellent post. I especially like those last two paragraphs. I tried to make this point to a colleague recently, but you have expressed it much more effectively.


Hi Martin

Is this the work from Wiley you were looking for: http://opencontent.org/docs/future-history-of-oer.pdf


The new year is already knocking at the door, let it will bring only happiness and joy.

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