This meeting, held in London, was a major get-together for the HEA Subject Centres to allow them to share their experiences of the OER projects to date.
It was a very busy day with lots of input from HE Academy and JISC, but as is often the way with these meetings the most important learnings were made not in the formal content but rather over a cup of coffee in the intervals, talking with colleagues that are struggling with similar problem to your own.
The meeting was attended by Mike Sanders (C-change Manager) – re-acquainting himself with colleagues from other Subject Centres and Ed Bremner (C-change Co-ordinator) who was doing his best to keep up.
You can see all the slides for the day at: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/elearning/oer/progmtgoct09.aspx
The day started with a session on IPR given by Jason Miles-Campbell from JISCLegal.
This talk and the discussion around it brought up some interesting points that had not really come up in any of our other sessions on copyright.
Moral Rights – We know that employees retain no copyright in the work they create whilst in employment, but it turns out that they don’t even have any ‘moral rights’ either. <no joy there for the author>
Copyright of Material in Repositories – Some institutes are claiming that the action of placing material on their own repositories was in some way a confirmation of their owning the copyright in those materials. <although this seems very strange and hardly defensible>.
Use of Logos in Materials – There is a possible issue over the use of Institute Logos on the OER materials. For our partners there is a general feeling that we wish to retain the ‘logo’ as a visual reminder of the attribution of the resource and that the positive ‘PR’ generated from these high quality resources is one of the reasons for doing the project in the first place. On the other hand, it appears that other OER projects take the opinion that to be truly re-usable the resources should not have any logos and should the logo be retained in a derivative work anyway? There is also a possible issue with the logo being released within a resource under a CC license. Would this not mean that the logo had also been released under a license that allows derivatives? <I think this could run and run, I don’t think the licensing issue really matters for the logos which are also presumably protected by being Trade Marks>
Multi-License Resources – One possible outcome of using the CC licenses that was suggested from this meeting was that resources should be released under the <BY-NC-AS> Creative Commons license, but with a rider saying that there were a list of exceptions and giving the details of these. <So, it is all CC except this bit…oh and that bit…etc. I don’t like this at all. If it is released as BY-NC-AS, that is what it should be>.
Re-Presentation and Re-Drawing of Diagrams – We know that facts and data are not copyright, but that the diagram that conveys this information is. For this reason, in some cases it may be possible to re-present the data in another form which avoids copyright infringement, but great care must be taken that this really is a new representation of the facts and not simply a re-drawing of the diagram, which is not allowed. <Certainly still a grey area, which in some cases may provide a possible alternative to clearance>.
Change of License in Upstream Copyright – There was some discussion on what happens if a copyrighted item is used whilst it is available under a cc license but is then subsequently returned to ‘all rights reserved’. The opinion was that whatever the license was at the time it was used would be retained although there was likely to be a burden of proof if it went to court.
There was much under-the-breath muttering to support the generally held impression that on the whole, it would in future, be much easier to simply create the OER with materials that were all copyright cleared at the time of creation.
The other talk that stood out as being particularly interesting for C-change was the introduction of the new SCORE (Support Centre for Open Resources in Education) project from the Open University. This project is building on the OpenLearn project and will extend the use of OER to help support other programmes such as the HEA/JISC OER programme. The programme aims to produce a further 3,600 hours of OER content, but of particular interest to us is that this includes 75 hours of material on climate change. We really look forwards to hearing more about this programme and seeing how it might be able to help all the HEA/JISC OER programme and in particular what synergies there are between us and them with the material on climate change.