[OSGeo-Discuss] Re: [Live-demo] Impacts of OSGeo-Live document license selection on OSGeo

Mr. Puneet Kishor punk.kish at gmail.com
Sun Jun 19 07:37:47 PDT 2011

On Jun 19, 2011, at 8:51 AM, Charlie Schweik wrote:

> On 6/18/2011 7:00 PM, Cameron Shorter wrote:
>> Are education institutions allowed to license material they create under CC BY-SA?
> I don't know if there is a "yes" or "no" answer to this or to what degree this has been addressed in academic institutions. We have one colleague, Puneet Kishor, who is closely connected to Creative Commons. Puneet, do you have any idea about this?

The answer would likely vary from institution to institution. Going by UW-Madison where I work, copyright in institutional stuff (for example, the UW web site [http://www.wisc.edu]) are held by the Regents of the University. Every page on the web site is footnoted with "© 2010 Board of Regents - University of Wisconsin System. All Rights Reserved."

However, employees are certainly allowed to benefit from their own creations; see below for relevant excerpt from [http://www.wisconsin.edu/gc-off/deskbook/copyrgt.htm]. 

	Ownership of Employee-Created Instructional Materials

	Under the UW System Policy on Ownership of Copyrightable 
	Instructional Materials (GAPP 27), the employee usually 
	owns all rights in his or her creations. For instance, a 
	professor who creates a scholarly article in the course 
	of research at a UW System institution would ordinarily 
	own the copyright in it. The institution may have an 
	interest, however, if it contributed substantial 
	institutional resources in the creation of the work. 
	"Substantial" resources could include providing the 
	creator with paid release time from his or her job, or 
	allowing the employee exceptional access to specialized 
	computer resources to create the work. In practice, 
	when an author uses institutional resources to create a 
	protected work, it is best to agree with the institution 
	beforehand about ownership and control of the work. GAPP 
	27 includes a sample agreement to allocate rights and 
	interests in copyrighted works between the institution 
	and the employee author.

	In addition, if a work is produced with extramural support, 
	such as federal funding or corporate sponsorship, the 
	sponsor may have rights in the work. These rights need to 
	be factored into any agreement allocating rights between 
	the copyright owner and the institution.

It is evident from above that the matter is not cut and dried. It would depend on agreement with the employer (work-for-hire clause), stipulations from the funding agency (federal vs. private funders), etc.

Instructors hold copyright in the instructional material they create, researchers hold copyright in the articles and books they write, and inventors are able to hold patents and benefit from them. UW has specific policies regarding patenting [http://www.warf.org/inventors/index.jsp?cid=14].

	Please note that under university policy and certain 
	federal statutes, all inventions made by UW-Madison faculty, 
	staff and students must be disclosed to WARF regardless of 
	the monies (federal, private, etc.) that funded the 
	research leading to the invention. 

	Once WARF processes a new disclosure, the UW-Madison 
	Graduate School will perform an equity review to determine 
	who has ownership rights to the invention. If the Graduate 
	School determines that federal funds did not contribute to 
	the invention (and the inventor has not assigned intellectual 
	property rights to an outside entity, such as a company), 
	the inventor may then choose whether or not to work with 
	WARF in patenting and licensing the invention.

In fact, even students hold copyright in their theses and dissertations [http://www.grad.wisc.edu/education/completedegree/pguide.html#18].

	Copyright Page (optional)   
	[ top ]
	If you would like, prepare a copyright page conforming to 
	the sample in the samples section. You may view a sample 
	copyright page at 
	Center the text in the bottom third of the page within the 
	dissertation margins.  Do not number the copyright page.

	Registration of copyright

	You are automatically protected by copyright law, and you do 
	not have to pay in order to retain copyright.  There is an 
	additional fee of $65.00 for registering your copyright, 
	which is a public record, and is payable at the Bursar's 
	office along with the dissertation microfilming and binding 
	fee of $90.00.  If you choose to pay this additional fee, 
	please sign the separate ProQuest registration of copyright page.  
	If you submit that page, ProQuest will send a digital copy of 
	your dissertation to the Library of Congress.  You are not 
	required to register your copyright through ProQuest; you may 
	choose to do it on your own for a smaller fee.  More 
	information is available online at www.copyright.gov.

If I own copyright in my work, it follows that I can do what I want to with it, and that includes giving away some or all rights. Hence, I can use CC licenses without any restrictions.

Hope the above helps.

On an aside, while everyone has the right and the ability to license their works under a CC-BY-SA, for philosophical as well as practical reasons, I have preferred CC-BY as I believe it is more conducive to encouraging uptake of my work. However, I am now moving over to marking most of my works with CC0, that is, waiving all my rights in the copyrightable elements of my creations, effectively placing them in public domain. For certain reasons, I might still use CC-BY for some of my creations.

> I did take a look at MIT's Open Courseware site and the homepage says everything is "CC BY" licensed. But there are some courses that are "CC BY-SA" that I found.
> Also, Carnegie Mellon's Open Learning Initiative appears to be using CC BY-SA. See http://oli.web.cmu.edu/openlearning/index.php.
> So I think some educational institutions "are allowed" to -- but I don't know how prevalent it is. I think for most campuses this is still a very new space.
> Cheers
> Charlie Schweik
> <cschweik.vcf>

Puneet Kishor http://punkish.org
Research http://carbonmodel.org
Science Fellow http://creativecommons.org

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