Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Copyright statements

Currently, all of the publications that our Research and Development team publish carry a copyright statement that allows readers to reproduce the publication free of charge as long as it’s for research, private study or internal circulation within an organisation. It goes on to stipulate that the subject needs to be reproduced and referenced accurately and that it must acknowledge the company before finishing by directing enquiries for any other uses to the Head of R&D.

I’d quite like this copyright notice to be on the web as well and it is proving quite a struggle to get it hosted there. Within the metadata structure that we are implementing, there is a copyright element and I would like this to have to contain nothing more than a URL but there is resistance and I can’t get anyone to articulate why – I think that it just hasn’t been done before and the reason for doing so isn’t sufficiently obvious. One option for getting around this point is to go down the route of a Creative Commons (CC) licence . Doing so would enable us to mark our publications, record our CC licence in the metadata and be able to point to it on the Web. The question is, though, what is the difference between using a CC licence to protect our IP and the copyright statement that we currently use? Surely what I have described above would be defined as ‘some rights reserved’ rather than ‘all rights reserved’…? In fact, a quick bit of surfing leads me to believe that what we are after is a ‘Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License’.

I think that a little more investigation is probably required and probably a quick call to our solicitors to verify things before we commit to making this change but to be honest, the threat of pushing for a CC licence might be so much change that ‘they’ concede on the hosting of the existing notice and that would at least get me where I want to be.

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