For some of our OER Partners, there is a slight worry about ‘how’ their materials may be used (or mis-used) in the future.
They are happy for their material to be released, even under a ‘share-alike’ CC license….but still they worry that it might be re-used in a way that they feel could mis-represent their original intentions. This is particularly the case with some materials that are built on research into sensitive issues of ‘climate change’.
Some authors have suggested they might be more comfortable if we were to tighten up the CC license for these materials and released them under a ‘No Derivatives’ CC license, but we have tried to discourage this as we felt it was an approach that lay outside our ‘open’ intentions.
But recently another idea was suggested:
Could these materials be protected at all under the author’s ‘Moral Rights’ which allows the author:
“to object to derogatory treatment of the work or film which amounts to a distortion or mutilation or is otherwise prejudicial to the honour or reputation of the author or director”
This seems an interesting idea and certainly I think we should add a line to our ‘Back Page’ notes that specifically says that the author retains the ‘Moral Rights’ on the work……however, there are some examples of where these rights do not apply and these include:
“where ownership of a work originally vested in an author’s employer”
So we again return to the thorny question of who the primary copyright holder is. If we work on the principle that as the academic author was employed to write this material, he does not hold any copyright in the work, then he isn’t going to hold any ‘Moral Rights’ either. However if an institute’s IPR policy allows for the original academic author to retain (in part or whole) the copyright in their own works, then arguably they should also have the ‘Moral Rights’.
For further details on ‘Moral Rights’ in the UK see: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/copy/c-otherprotect/c-moralrights.htm
Any other thoughts on this?