Copyright and fair use

Faculty Ownership of Research Affirmed

The US Supreme Court in June handed down a victory for faculty members by ruling that federal patent law favors the rights of individual researchers over those of their employers. The case was Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford Junior University v. Roche Molecular Systems, Inc.

Copyright for Academics in the Digital Age

When faculty members consider copyright in the digital age, it is often in relation to things we can’t (or shouldn’t) do. For example, we can’t have too much material placed in online reserve, we can’t scan journal articles to create digital versions of what used to be called “course packs,” and we can’t post an excerpt from a work of scholarship on our blogs without appropriate permissions.

Information Technology Wants to Be Free

Sometimes I hear through the grapevine, in the cohesive community where my regional comprehensive university is located, of a recent graduate who is using calculus in an unauthorized way. Perhaps this person is an engineer optimizing a process in one of our remaining local industries, an executive maximizing profit in a new venture, or even a soccer mom or dad doodling on a fast-food wrapper, trying to figure out the best location for defensive players in terms of how much of the field they can control.

Sue U.

“What business are we in?” Christie Hefner—president, chair, and CEO of Playboy Enterprises from 1988 through 2009—challenged attendees at the 2012 annual meeting of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), being held just outside of Disneyland, to ask themselves this deceptively simple question. While Playboy’s business no doubt would make Mickey Mouse blush, Hefner’s question to those on the front lines of the university patenting and licensing community bears studied reflection by a much wider audience.

Statement on Multiple Authorship

Statement on issues that arise when multiple authors contribute to a work.

Open Textbook Publishing

Thanks to inexpensive or free publishing tools and the ubiquitous nature of the web, the faculty can assume the traditional responsibilities of publishers. Faculty members can build massive, global communities around their pedagogical works by licensing them under an open-culture copyright license and by employing peer-review processes to vet publications.

AAUP Launches Intellectual Property Campaign

Tensions over faculty control of the fruits of scholarship have been slowly building since the 1980s, but they have become particularly intense over the past two years. The most troubling changes have occurred in university patent policies, with major research universities leading the way in limiting or eliminating faculty members’ traditional rights to decide what happens to their discoveries or inventions.

Aaron Swartz’s Legacy

There is no justice in following unjust laws,” wrote the computer programmer and Internet activist Aaron Swartz, who took his own life at the age of twenty-six on January 11, 2013. “It’s time to come into the light and, in the grand tradition of civil disobedience, declare our opposition to this private theft of public culture.” Swartz was twenty-one years old when he wrote these words in his 2008 “Guerilla Open Access Manifesto.” Two aspects of Swartz’s manifesto are particularly prescient.

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