Gibb Owen doesn't have a blog. At least, I couldn't find one. But I'm beginning to wish that he did, because then I would be a lot more informed about this slippery concept of copyright and intellectual property. Owen has written another excellent article for the latest edition of The Education Technology Guide with an article titled simply Copyright. Regular droppers-by of this blog may recall my first look at Gibb's article on IP and some of my conclusions for teachers. It certainly stopped me blogging on school time (even if it was my lunch break) so that all my work on this blog would be my IP, not my employer's.
So, what's struck me in this article? I'm glad you asked. Here's a key quote from the article:
Teachers, tutors and lecturers should particularly aware that all of the works that they write in the course of their employment are copyright material automatically owned by their employer.
It is a question of degree as to whether a teacher owns the copyright and whether a teacher owns the copyright and where he simply developed ideas during the course of his employment and thereafter discretely and exclusively expressed those ideas in his private time using his own private capital. In this case he would be the true owner.
So, if I develop a resource in my job, it belongs to my education system. Does that mean I don't have the right to change the copyright conditions that automatically apply? For instance, if I wanted to apply a Creative Commons license? What about a resource like the MYLU Wikispaces site which automatically generates a CC license? More questions than answers in my mind!
Some other points from the article:
- The 70 year rule applies down under where copyright exists for 70 years from the death of the copyright owner or 70 years after the first publication if death has already occurred.
- If you want to be sure that your copyright rights stand up in court in most countries of the world, identify your work with the © symbol.
- You don't have the legal right to sell purchased software you have used to another person, especially if it's already loaded on a computer. Where does that leave second hand video game stores who also sell used PC games?
My final question for Gibb which I will e-mail on to him if he wants to reply is this - When I leave a comment on a blog, who retains the copyright to that? The commenter or the blogger? I'll post any insights here with permission.