Monday, April 28, 2008

Open Access White Paper

Science Commons and SPARC have teamed up on Open Doors and Open Minds: What Faculty Authors Can Do to Ensure Open Access To Their Work Through Their Institution. This is a White Paper directed to faculty and researchers interested in promoting open access policies at their respective institutions.

Thinh Nguyen, Science Commons counsel, wrote the paper, which explains why the policy adopted by the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences breaks new ground in the movement toward open access. The paper then suggests practical steps that faculty can take to promote adoption of a similar deposit policy and institutional copyright license.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Creative Commons Ecuador

On Tuesday, April 22, 2008, I spoke at the launch of Creative Commons Ecuador, which was held in the context of a conference on measuring quality in distance education hosted by the Universidad Technica Particular de Loja. It was a great event attended by about 300 people. Video is here.

There's great enthusiasm for CC here, and the project team, led by Dr. Juan Jose Puertas, has done a great job. In the photo, Juan Jose is accompanied by the other team members, Veronica Granda Gonzalez (left) and Dra. Patricia Pacheco, all from the UTPL legal department. Carlos Correa Loyola, Director of the IT program, also provided support as did the Chancellor and Rector of the university, Fr. Luis Miguel Romero.

The university also announced its "Open UTPL" program, through which it will be putting course materials online under a CC Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 license.

Ecuador joins an active Creative Commons community in Latin America. Check this out.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Copyright in Higher Education

The first copyright statute was adopted by the English Parliament for the "encouragement of learning." How well is copyright doing that job today? Two stories from today's news provide different answers.

If learning is best encouraged by relying on for-profit academic publishing entities that compile educational materials, then it is proper for educators who create educational materials to transfer copyright to these publishers. These publishers can then use the author's copyright as a defense against incursions by professors who are sharing published materials with their students without requiring their students to pay. See

If, on the other hand, in the age of the Internet learning is better encouraged by authors using their copyrights to create open educational resources designed for global, royalty-free sharing, then it is better for educators to hold on to their copyrights and license their materials accordingly. See