[Cc-uk] Academics are not free either...

Christian Ahlert christian.ahlert at oii.ox.ac.uk
Thu Apr 28 17:23:09 EDT 2005


Yes, its true almost all universities, I am aware of, have chosen to 
put into their employment contracts that they own their employees 
intellectual work. Most, if not all, academics are not aware of this 
undifferentiated approach to copyright. Isn't it a stunning observation 
that technically every time an academic publishes something he should 
seek permission from the university?

It highlights, once again, how strange the law has become. It seems 
perfectly reasonable to me to start getting academics together to 
publicly challenge this untenable situation.


On 28 Apr 2005, at 18:02, David M.Berry wrote:

> Actually this is completely untrue. Academics *technically* do not own 
> the copyright to their own work as they are designated as employee's 
> of the University, as I am sure you are all well aware, therefore the 
> employer owns their intellectual property. The whole situation of 
> academics copyright is little discussed or resolved in the UK and I 
> expect this to be a flashpoint should the Universities decide to 
> capitalise on IP beyond patents. My University, for instance, is very 
> clear that it owns the IPR but has chosen not to enforce it on 
> copyright... yet...
> Therefore again *technically* releasing under a CC license without the 
> permission of the employer (i.e. the owner of your academic work, the 
> University) is illegal.
> The University's are all now shifting their IPR policy and no doubt 
> this will mean many academic freedoms will be curtailed or certainly 
> challenged by these changes...
> See http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/ccf.html
> An interesting question is whether this CC license work that has been 
> undertaken by academics within their work-time might have the 
> unfortunate consequence of actually being owned by their respective 
> University.
> That would be very ironic.. ;-)
> Maybe this a place for CC-UK to start a campaign? As I am sure that 
> most academics do not realise that this is actually the case...
> - David
> On 28 Apr 2005, at 17:09, Paul Harkins wrote:
>> Academics can happily use CC licenses for their work because they are 
>> salaried. Most songwriters and musicians on the other hand need to 
>> make a living from their work.
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