Otago Polytechnic's Intellectual Property Policy

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Gaining Momentum: The United Nations' Paris OER Declaration of 2012 begins with a reminder that education is a human right, and recommends that all nations openly publish taxpayer funded educational resources.

Otago Polytechnic’s academic policy on copyright and intellectual property was revised in late 2009 to reflect the importance of OER to its long-term vision. This was perhaps one of the most important policy changes in the institution’s history, marking a new emphasis on sharing educational knowledge openly and reducing barriers to learners.

The policy sets out a clear position on copyright for all staff, students and contractors on how it would like to see Otago Polytechnic-produced IP being distributed. In essence it is very simple: make your academic IP and resources as widely available as possible by releasing them under open copyright licenses.

As is common with new policy, there is a lag between its release and implementation. This professional development module is intended to inform staff about the IP policy and facilitate their adoption of OER as business-as-usual. It will require a change of mindset for many staff, but taking the OER route is not onerous, and provides many opportunities and benefits to those who embrace it.

The academic IP policy in full is at: http://www.op.ac.nz/assets/policies/AP0200.04-Copyright.pdf

The policy requires some understanding of Creative Commons licenses and how they can be applied in different situations. This topic will be explored in the Open Content Learning for Educators Workshop (OCL4ed) [link], which all staff are strongly encouraged to complete in the course of their professional development.