- Obtain agreement that opencourseware is premised on making materials available to end users under "open" license terms that allow use, reuse, adaption, and redistibution.
- Preserve faculty rights of their course materials to allay faculty concerns.
- Develop a sound copyright review and clearance process, and build awareness around intellectual property requirements. Faculty often use third-party materials in teaching; these materials must be cleared for publication with copyright owners, or removed. This is a manageable process.
- Ensure that permissions from third-parties are compatible with the open terms of opencourseware publication. Commercial publishers are least likely to grant liberal license terms, but there are alternatives.
This section includes the following Focus Areas:
There are three dimensions of intellectual property (IP) considerations for opencourseware:
Getting permission (a "license") from faculty or other contributors of course materials to publish them on opencourseware.
Clearing (or removing/replacing) embedded third-party elements from materials to be published.
Granting a license to opencourseware end-users to use, reuse, adapt, and redistribute materials for non-commercial educational purposes, in accord with the opencourseware concept.
The IP process may feel daunting, but it is manageable.
Note: This section explains general rules and guidelines as they apply to opencourseware. It is not an exhaustive review of copyright law or other IP considerations. Specific questions and special circumstances that may not be answered here should be referred to appropriate intellectual property counsel.