Talk:Intellectual Property/Proposed policy and procedures for Australian research and education

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UC's IP Policy review changes hands[edit source]

UC's IP Policy Review changed hands mid 2011. It has gone from DVCE John Howard's Office of Engagement, to DVCR Francis Shannon's Research Office. We have offered Francis a briefing of thsi submission, and our work to date, but have been advised that a process for the Review will be announced, and that we may make our submission to that. A background paper from Francis' office has been distributed to UC Major Theme working groups for feedback. That background paper did not mention our submission, advises that the consultant Kevin Croft will be drafting an IP Policy, and that the IP Policy at ANU is being considered as a model. We will update this thread if and when the formal review process is announced, or when new developments emerge.

AusGOAL[edit source]

AusGOAL provides support to government and other sectors to enable open access to publicly funded information...

Leighblackall 00:16, 13 July 2011 (UTC) Via James NeilReply[reply]

Baden Appleyard - Director of AusGOAL, met with Leigh Blackall and Rick Hayes at LaTrobe University on Friday 2 May 2014. Baden was asked to review this proposal, advise on its improvement, and discuss how we might implement the policy at a Departmental level within a University - upwardly managing to support Baden's work across the sector nationally.
Baden was very impressed with this proposal, and will be showing it to Universities Australia as an example of what active staff are capable of.
Rick asked Leigh to produce a "cheat sheet" designed to assist people to use and contribute to The Commons, and to understand this proposed policy. Baden offered to assist Leigh with that sheet.
Rick and Leigh committed to trying to influence others at LaTrobe University so as to become aware and receptive to AusGOAL services and perspective. Through the ongoing development of Community Health Rick and Leigh will engage the Library and local IP officer and arrange for another visit by Baden.
Leighblackall (discusscontribs) 10:15, 9 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Article for NTEU UC Union News[edit source]

We've been invited by NTEU UC Union News to write an article about this submission to the IP Policy Review. Here's a draft for comment and edit:

It pains me to be involved in conversations about intellectual property, being someone who sees these two words as cancelling each another out, but it might be possible to split the power of this concept, to not only satisfy today's money motivations, but to also rebuild credibility in the eyes of public good and academic integrity.
The University of Canberra has had a review of its intellectual property policy open for some time now, and a number of staff have been collaborating around a submission that appears to gaining a sympathetic hearing.
Their submission can be summarised with the following 3 points:
1. All staff, students and partners retain 100% ownership of their intellectual property.
2. All work published on content management systems associated with the University, will acquire a default copyright license of Creative Commons Attribution, with an option and service available to restrict copyrights down from that.
3. Ngunnawal are autonomous in their decisions relating to this policy, and all work identifying as being by or derived from Indigenous Australians will be restricted unless otherwise shown to have been negotiated with the appropriate custodians to the work.
The two primary authors of this submission were asked by the University's Office of Engagement, to present their ideas at the annual conference of Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia which is a consortium of universities and research institutes primarily concerned with the management of intellectual property, and its transfer to commercial interests. James and Leigh had 15 minutes to make their lonely argument to this large and established group. Surviving this test seems to have paid off well for the submission. You can access a recording of their talk, along with links and resources at
Most education and research institutions in Australia stake a claim to ownership on all intellectual work done by people "in their employ". They then restrict copyright on all expressions of that work, and attempt to identify, manage and commercialise the small percentage of potential in their haul. But what happens to the much larger quantity of knowledge and information that will never see the light at the end of this commercial tunnel?
Good question. Much of it finds its way into the hands of publishers of academic journals. Australian academics are compelled to submit their research findings, but into journals that, after getting academic peers to review and edit the submissions, sell the content back to the institutions and libraries (Those who can afford it). Adding insult to injury, the journal publishers also take royalties for the usage of the content through the services of Copyright Agency Limited. Talk about a good deal for the publishers! Jo Public pays for the research and the review, then pays again for the right to read about it and make a photocopy! You might recognise this as a classic private profit from public investment, yes? It pains me to talk about "intellectual property".
But sometimes a research institute strikes gold in its haul, and returns all the money that the public invested in it right? Another good question. Some of the guest speakers at the KCA 2010 annual conference were hinting otherwise. Scott Hamilton's talk about Columbia University's success (read luck) in commercialising IP, paints a crushing picture for Australian universities dreaming of hitting the big time. Columbia manages to commercialise just 1% of their massive research investment, and only after managing and protecting it for many years. Their biggest returner is a patent over a specific and commonly used video codec, and the return on that took 4-10 years to realise, and with such technology in rapid development, couldn't have known it would be a winner at the time. This big US research university won a bet, on very poor odds.
James and Leigh believe their proposal is more realistic. It recognises the impracticability of claiming institutional ownership, and the very poor odds and returns on commercialisation, but it doesn't exclude the possibility. It simply inverts the current practice, so that the 99% of work the University does that was not intended for private gains, can exist as public good. The 1% of the work that "intellectual property" was invented for, can opt out of this default and enter into restrictive arrangements. The opt-out process helps the university target its support to areas that have a need for protection or maybe a chance at the commercialisation game.
Here's what was published in the NTEU Advocate, March 2015, Page 36 Leighblackall (discusscontribs) 01:21, 19 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Meeting with UC Governance[edit source]

John Howard invited Leigh Blackall to meet and present this proposed policy to Carole Kayrooz, Frances Shannon, on 18 May. Also present was Lewis Jones (In John's office), and Alan Arnold and Robert Fitzgerald (supporting Carole). Frances could only stay the first 15 minutes of the meeting, so Leigh attempted to convey the key ideas of this proposal within the first 5 minutes, to allow Frances time to respond and enter discussion.

Frances' initial response came in 3 points:

  1. What constitute's "UC as a platform" defaulting to CC By?
  2. How will the proposed policy work with other institutions?
  3. How will the proposed policy affect research publication interests?

The answer to the first question is in the digital repositories, learning management systems and other online publishing avenues managed by the University. These presently constitute the University as "a platform". CC By would be added to these platforms, coded to mark all work with that copyright by default. An opt out option would also be set up, sending an alert to a IP management team. The final two concerns can be addressed by the opt out and IP management process. All three speak to the necessity of establishing a small team of IP managers in the University, to manage opt out nominations and direct them to negotiations, timed release, commercialisation, or long term restrictions. We envisage this team being attached to the Library. Frances seemed agreeable in principle to the proposal, and then left to another meeting.

Carole was also agreeable in principle, and keen to pilot the concept, if not adopt the proposal as policy. Leigh pressed the need for a team ready to support people opting out of the default, especially as we should expect most will opt out at first, putting high demand on that team for offering advice and support services.

The Governors agreed to draft a submission to the Senior Management Group, but a deadline was not suggested.

--Leighblackall 06:29, 1 June 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia responses[edit source]

James and Leigh (primary authors of this proposal) were invited by the University of Canberra's Office of Development and Engagement, to present at the KCA Annual Conference in Canberra, 11 November 2010.

Throughout the 2 day conference, the key points of this presentation were discussed with many participants at the conference, all being IP Officers at Australian Universities, some being IP lawyers at Australian Universities. All initially responded with skepticism to the proposal, but discussion lead to the realisation of one critical benefit of this proposed policy:

By setting the over all standard copyright at the university to Creative Commons Attribution, staff, students and 3rd parties who are working on projects of commercial or other sensitivity, are compelled to opt out, thereby notifying the IP Officer and helping that office better target its services to projects most in need of close management. In other universities, the standard practice has been to claim university ownership over all work, and to restrict all work, believing it to be the best way to manage risks and capture commercialisable IP and investment opportunities. This approach compels no signal to the IP Office however, leaving them to use other, more fallible means to target and initiate their services, inefficiently spread across the vast majority of work in a university that will never need commercialisation or other IP management services.

Other critics mentioned that this proposal concerns itself primarily with copyright over patents. This may need addressing, because it is our belief that patents are addressed here as an end point, and all work leading to a patent, often involving many years of work, documentation and communications, are governed by copyright. The risk averse university will try to limit expressions of work deemed patentable, sometimes years after a project has begun, only to discover a tangle of due diligence not followed. Their restrictions often retard scientific progress by imposing non disclosure or other confidentiality agreements, and copyrights and other restrictions that are unacceptable or problematic for the scientists and their collaborators. This policy proposal does not discourage such management of IP however, rather it makes such restrictions and protections the responsibility of the people who own the IP and who first recognise the need. All work created in the lead up to such a decision point, if Creative Commons Attribution is assumed, does not compromise or limit work continuing in a restricted arrangement. Arguably it assists with IP discipline and due diligence, and possibly assists in the development of a prior art evidence base, should such a defense ever be needed.

Leighblackall 09:05, 22 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

UC Library response[edit source]

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your proposed policy on intellectual property. As librarians we are very aware of the balance between protecting the interests and moral rights of the creators of knowledge and the societal benefit of access to knowledge in support of learning, research and creativity. This process of dialogue and consultation about IP is very timely and the support of the VC and DVC(E) indicates to me there will be serious consideration given to improving the current policy.

You quite rightly include two aspects which the University's current IP policy does not address due to the timeframe since the last policy review - a position on open access to scholarly works , and guidance for authors /creators to grant permission or restrictions on the use of their work, using the Creative Commons licensing framework.

Before I comment on the proposed guiding principles, I need to clarify my working definitions of intellectual property and copyright – broadly, if intellectual property is about ownership of the “idea”, copyright is about protecting the “expression of the idea”. I can certainly support the intent expressed in your draft that the Library has a role to play in providing systems, processes and support for the University community to use intellectual property in compliance with the rights of the owners/authors/creators. This is regardless of the policy position about the ownership of the IP and I believe it’s outside the role (and expertise) of the Library to endorse any particular position about the ownership of IP, other than moral rights.

That said, I’d like to offer some feedback about specific parts of the proposal. In the section on moral rights, I suggest including a reference to the Copyright Amendment (Moral Rights) Act 2000 which came into force on 21 December 2000 and provides for three moral rights:

  • Attribution of authorship: an author's right to be identified as the author or creator of a work;
  • Integrity of authorship: the right of an author or creator to object to derogatory treatment of their work; and
  • The right of an author or creator not to have authorship of a work falsely attributed.

In relation to the framing of the policy proposal, you might consider separating the treatment of IP from matters of copyright. Compliance with copyright is more procedural in nature as it is governed by statutory legislation and licensing models (even the Creative Commons model is a set of procedures for complying with specific principles). I think the ANU IP policy demonstrates this separation of policy and procedure quite well – for example, clear statements of principles about open access and the ability of the author/creator to grant a licence for the use of their knowledge – enough guidance about how authors/creators can protect their moral rights to IP during their association with the University but not all the detail about how to do it (via copyright, rights assignment and licensing, etc).

If you have any queries about my response, I’d be happy to talk it over with you.

Regards, Anita 15 October 2010

NTEU Response[edit source]

The policy is a fascinating text – it looks like it may be a bit of a benchmark if it goes through.

Our proposed changes are attached. You’ll notice they focus on:

  • more explicit acknowledgement of moral rights,
  • recognition of the legislative context,
  • suggestion about a more robust dispute process, and
  • more detail around the exceptions to UC ownership.

It’s excellent work and I wish you the best. If you can get a policy in the form of language you have presented to us you will have a very good document for staff. I very much liked the new final section which focuses upon staff education.

Many regards,

Jen Kwok, NTEU. 27 September 2010

UC VC and DVC in-principle support[edit source]

Several meetings with the UC Office for Development, the VC, and the DVC Education have indicated strong in-principle support for the notion of openness at UC. We are working with both the Office for Development and the DVC Education to develop and progress this proposal Leighblackall 03:15, 12 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Copyright Agency Limited (CAL)[edit source]

CAL collects royalties from Universities for their use of copyrighted material. Even, apparently, for IP created by a Universities' own staff where they haven't designated a license. Therefore

  1. All IP created within a university should be given a specific license (currently this is often not the case and currently the default is all rights reserved)
  2. The IP policy should automatically give the university rights to use staff created IP (this is the case in the current and our proposed policy)
  3. IP rights should be the staff members to which a default open license is applied (this is not in the current policy but is in our proposed policy). -- Jtneill - Talk - c 21:35, 27 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

ANU IP Policy recognises Creative Commons copyright[edit source]

Interesting to note that ANU revised their IP policy as of July 2010 to include open access:

Section 6. Terms of Publication: Open Access

6.1 The object of this Section is to promote the availability of Scholarly Works Created within the University free or at a low cost to Members and the public in accordance with Open Access Principles, without causing unreasonable detriment to the creating Member.

6.2 A Member who Creates a Scholarly Work must, when it is accepted by a publisher for publication or otherwise the Member deems the work ready for publication, provide a copy of the Scholarly Work to the University.

6.3 Subject to Sub-section 6.4, copies of Scholarly Works received by the University under this Section may be made published by the University to Members or the public.

6.4 If the Member reasonably believes that the exercise by the University of rights under Sub-section 6.3 may:

(a) impede the Member's ability to disseminate the Scholarly Work by publication through a third party or otherwise;

(b) result in unreasonable financial loss to the Member; or

(c) impede collaboration with co-authors outside the University,

the Member may, when providing the work to the University, indicate that the work may not be published by the University or it may not be published by the University for a specified time.

This is a strong policy, acknowledging open access as an option, but in my opinion it doesn't go far enough in promoting and supporting it and other open academic practices. Procedures that promote and support openness are needed because too much is in place that demotes and work against it - such as very few journals in the ERA ranked lists being open academic journals, which impacts on motivations to publish and collaborate in research openly.
Section 6 has a list of reasons for opting out of open access publishing that might be useful in the development of the "opt-out" procedure in this proposal for UC:
6.4 If the Member reasonably believes that the exercise by the University of rights under Sub-section 6.3 may:
(a) impede the Member's ability to disseminate the Scholarly Work by publication through a third party or otherwise;
(b) result in unreasonable financial loss to the Member; or
(c) impede collaboration with co-authors outside the University,
--Leighblackall 23:49, 17 May 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

ANU Code of Practice Goes Open Access[edit source]

Here's another ANU Policy, perhaps better than the IP Policy cited above:

Policy: Code of Practice for Scholarly Publication and Dissemination at ANU:

Here's the preface:

"The Australian National University considers the dissemination of research findings to be an important part of the research process, passing on the benefits to other researchers, professional practitioners and the wider community.
The University has an obligation to share research outcomes with the global community, many members of which do not enjoy the same level of investment in research experienced in Australia. The ability to participate and share in scientific and cultural advancement is a declared human right.
Traditional publication channels do not necessarily place scholarly works into the public domain promptly and at low cost to the user. The University supports prompt open dissemination where possible to avoid these barriers.
The University endorses open access principles. While there are many definitions of open access, this position statement defines open access dissemination to be:
"The full text results of scholarly research are made promptly, freely and permanently available to anyone with access to the internet."
The University recognises that researchers are best placed to choose the publication and dissemination option for their work. It urges members of the scholarly community to subsequently make their work available in an open access format.
The University has established a repository within ANU Research for the deposit of research output [1], and encourages researchers to submit their work. However, it recognises the appropriate means to achieve open access dissemination may vary according to the discipline, and supports the continued use of disciplinary repositories and the submission of work to open access journals if appropriate.
This Position Statement supports and complements existing ANU policies, such as the Policy: Responsible Practice of Research and the Policy: Intellectual Property."

Australian Government now free and open access[edit source]

Aust Gov now default CC:BY licensing for Public Sector Info

UC-IP Miniconference[edit source]

To inform the development of this proposal, UCNISS hosted UC-IP, a miniconference on IP at the University of Canberra.

Comments by James Neill[edit source]

I've copyedited and work through this draft. Two minor points, Leigh, for your consideration:

  1. UC ownership - Can this statement be clarified (I don't really understand it) and "IPR" explained (or is it "IP"?): "The University will reassign ownership and IPR back to UC staff, students and partners where it may be determined at common law that the university has an interest. If not it will negotiate over the terms of the reassignment."
  2. 'Indigenous ownership - Can we refer to "local Indigenous representatives" rather than Ngunnawal, given the identity of original Indigenous custodianship is contestable for the ACT area.

-- Jtneill - Talk - c 02:16, 17 May 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks Jtneill. I had a crack at making UC Ownership better. See what you think. As for Indigenous Ownership, this might be an issue that executive need to decide on, or someone more knowledgeable to propose.. --Leighblackall 03:03, 17 May 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
UC ownership reads really well now. Yes, let's get further indigenous advice, but my suggestion is really in the meantime to be as generic and inclusive as possible in the terminology. Some more info (not sure how accurate): w:Ngunnawal people. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 04:31, 17 May 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good point. I've replaced references to Ngunnawal where it can and should be generic, but retained the section referring to the Ngunnawal Centre as UC's reference group on indigenous affairs. --Leighblackall 06:27, 17 May 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Declarations[edit source]

So far, I think their are two declarations UC should sign to:

  1. Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2003)
  2. Cape Town Open Education Declaration

--Leighblackall 23:43, 17 May 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Copyright laws in the Czech Republic[edit source]

It looks you are having different copyright laws in Australia. Here in the Czech Republic eployer (in this case a university) is an administrator of employes work rights. And also students rights, but here also students may use their works.--Juan de Vojníkov 14:53, 21 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Here it is partialy explained: meta:Wikimedia Czech Republic/Projekt Vědecká a odborná fotografie/Postup žádání o uvolnění fotografií pod svobodnou licenci.--Juan de Vojníkov 14:55, 21 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks Juan, the Google Translated version gave me some level of access. I see that though, that an employer owns the IP of its employee, which is common practice here also, and something we are proposing a change on. While it may appear clear when someone is an employee or not, in universities people are very transitory, moving from one employer to another, or at the same time, naturally spreading past and present IP across them all. Also, if an employee develops a conflict of interest, employer ownership can create problems such as the employee making a distinction between work at home and work on the job. The list of problems goes on, but a final example is the argument that an employer, in the case of a university, typically does a poor job at handling IP precisely because the people handling it have little sense in ownership beyond their job descriptions. It might be shown that a properly informed employee who owns their IP, and who has access to IP services within the University, may do a better job in managing it, and may even develop better loyalties to the university when they realise the need for their services... Leighblackall 00:36, 26 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

National Health and Medical Research Council mandate open access[edit source]

NHMRC are going to mandate open access publishing for research that is funded by them, beginning July 2012:

La Trobe University to consider this proposal[edit source]

La Trobe University recently held an open conference, looking at open education. In the final session of the day, recommendations are being drafted for La Trobe Uni executives to consider. It was suggested that one of those recommendations be the adoption of this IP Policy. Leighblackall (discusscontribs) 10:26, 12 March 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A comparison of Australian University IP Policies[edit source]

Following a symposium about Wikimedia in Higher Education at the University of Sydney, where the frustrations in this submission were discussed, John Vandenberg asked Leigh Blackall and Rowanne Couch via Twitter, if they knew of a comparison of Australian University IP Policies. Rowanne pointed to the Council of Australian University Librarians, Copyright Tools - specifically their comparison chart in PDF. This very handy document makes clear that several Australian Universities share at least one key element of this submission - that staff and students retain ownership of their IP. These include, The University of New South Wales, University of Technology Sydney, La Trobe University, University of Western Australia, University of Wollongong, James Cook University, and to some degree Australian National University. Unfortunately a distinction is made between teaching materials and research outputs, and many of these reverse their position when it comes to research outputs. Leighblackall (discusscontribs) 00:25, 12 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Forking this policy proposal[edit source]

Given that the University of Canberra has ignored this submission, I propose we fork this work (or move the page) and make it a generic proposal for progressive IP policy aimed at Australian institutions of education and/or research. One that can be easily lifted and used by any institution, organisation or business wanting to adopt its principles. Leighblackall (discusscontribs) 00:30, 12 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agreed - let's fork, strip out UC-specific stuff / generalise -- Jtneill - Talk - c 00:52, 12 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ok, I'll move the page to a new title.. suggested title? How about just plain 'Intellectual Property - proposed policy and procedures for Australian research and education'? Leighblackall (discusscontribs) 01:06, 12 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Done Leighblackall (discusscontribs) 02:23, 12 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]