Intellectual Property Rights Policy
LENS Intellectual Property Rights Policy
The ultimate objective of LENS is the collection, integration and dissemination of resources which will contribute to the development of scholarly discourse, research and Level 7 education in the area of Adult Literacy, Language and Numeracy.
For LENS to succeed, it is essential that the repository be populated with a wide selection of quality learning objects. There are two absolute requirements that have to be in place for contributors to generously share their best work. The first is that contributors need to be secure in the knowledge that the learning objects they contribute will only be used in ways they are comfortable with (for example, that learning objects will not be re-used for commercial gain), and that they will receive recognition for their work. The second is that they should be able to count on reciprocity, that they can be confident that in return for the work they contribute, they will be able to benefit from the contributions of others. The latter requirement is addressed by the LENS Access and Contributions policy, which should be read in conjunction with the LENS Intellectual Property Rights policy, as it limits the parties who can use the works deposited in LENS.
Although, along with the developers LENS/DFES own the intellectual property rights for the LENS site, including the metadata schema, taxonomic classifications, design and architecture, the intellectual property of all learning objects deposited within LENS will remain with the original owners who will hold complete discretion about the use of the works they are prepared to grant to others.
LENS will adopt the a Creative Commons Licensing system (Currently awaiting delayed
publication originally scheduled for 30th June of the UK version of Creative Commons), as a means of describing and licensing
intellectual property of all works held within LENS. The current policy has been
developed based on the Interim Report on Digital Rights Management prepared by
Intrallect Ltd on behalf of JISC [
The six stages of the LENS Intellectual Property Rights Policy
The LENS Intellectual Property Rights Policy can be considered under six successive stages. Each stage is detailed below, with the system implementation of the policy being explicitly stated in the highlighted boxes in relevant sections.
1. Recognition of rights.
The first step in upholding the intellectual property rights of all authors contributing to LENS involves recognising who holds the rights for the works being deposited. It is the responsibility of those inputting data into LENS ('the inputters') to ensure that they are clear about who owns the rights of the learning objects they are inputting and the uses that they (the copyright owner(s)) would be happy to be granted. Inputters are strongly encouraged to keep documentary evidence of copyright and permissions given for inclusion and further sharing of works in writing, either through keeping relevant email conversations or by requiring authors to fill in a form such as the 'Contribution to LENS Agreement Form'.
Where the inputter is also the author of the materials, the issue is simplified, but not always utterly straightforward. Inputters will be advised to check their institutional copyright arrangements.
The Rights fields in the metadata screen are compulsory. It is not, therefore, possible to enter a learning object into LENS without including information about the intellectual property rights of the object in question.
2. Assertion of rights
The assertion of rights is provided by a legal framework in which people and
organisations can assert their rights in a form that is defendable under law.
The legal framework adopted in LENS is that of the
The JISC Creative Commons Licence will be posted on the LENS portal.
3 Expression of rights
This is where the rights of the IPR holders are explicitly stated. Traditionally, this only took the form of a copyright statement in human readable form. In LENS, the data is also presented as machine-readable categories in the database. The metadata entry screens require inputters to select the licensing options that they would like to see attached to their works. They cannot save an object without including rights information.
Currently, the licensing options offered by the
You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work — and derivative works based upon it — but only if they give you credit
You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work — and derivative works based upon it — but for noncommercial purposes only.
- No Derivative Works
You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.
- Share Alike
You allow others to distribute derivative works only under a licence identical to the licence that governs your work.
This means that the user can extract (replicate) unchanged parts (or all) of the Licenced Work for reuse into another work.
means the user can make any adaptation, alteration, addition to, deletion from, manipulation or modification of the intellectual content or concepts expressed in all or parts of the licenced work
the user can use a licenced work (or parts of it) as part of a composite work or collection
You specify any other conditions that you would like attached to your work. If you are inputting an object for which you do not hold copyright and where the copyright holder has not given permission for copying, distributing, displaying or performing your work, you should state this.
The metadata input screens will require that the inputter select from the creative commons icons currently being developed to describe the licensing options that have been chosen for the object they are inputting. This information will therefore form a permanent, machine-readable record of the learning object's metadata. Only the person who created the metadata record will be able to make changes to this field.
4 - Dissemination of rights
The dissemination of rights ensures that wherever a resource is described its rights are also described.
The IPR metadata fields are compulsory - it is not possible therefore to describe an object without describing its rights.
5 - Exposure of rights
This is the stage at which a user will see the rights information associated with a resource. This will often be when searching for resources. In LENS, whenever an object is found through a search engine, the rights of its owner are included.
Search results will include either a link to the rights associated with an object,
or a list of the creative commons icons representing those rights.
6 - Enforcement of rights
This includes both protective measures to ensure that rights are not infringed and steps to be taken when infringements are detected. NRDC will enforce rights in the following manner:
- access to resources is granted only to people who have acknowledged that they have accepted the licence conditions under which the resources are made available (i.e. to registered LENS members)
- username and password authentication means that only registered users are allowed into LENS
- automatic version control will allow for the derivation of works to be audited.
- Individuals or institutions found to have abused IPR will be excluded from using LENS.
LENS is a password-protected database to which only LENS members will have access.
Role of different bodies in protection of IPR in LENS
Role of NRDC in protection of Intellectual Property Rights within LENS
The NRDC have provided the funding for the development and maintenance of the virtual environment in which learning objects are to be shared and distributed. As such, they have a role to play in ensuring that the IPR and Access and Contributions policies are upheld although the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that IPR is respected remains with the contributors and users of the works held within LENS.
Role of inputters in protection of Intellectual Property Rights within LENS
All those inputting materials into LENS should check that they are not contravening copyright by posting materials to LENS. This might involve asking a contributor to fill in a Contribution to LENS form.
Role of users in protection of Intellectual Property Rights within LENS
All users of LENS materials will be required to respect the rights of all works they re-use. They will also be encouraged to alert the LENS team to any infringements that they find in LENS in order that these may be remedied.