Re-using OpenLearn content and other intellectual property questions
- Who owns the intellectual property in materials published on the OpenLearn website?
- What can I do with OpenLearn materials?
- What about licensing implications when using software tools?
- What does OpenLearn mean by ‘non-commercial’ use of OpenLearn materials?
- How do I cite OpenLearn content?
- How do I contribute my own work to OpenLearn?
Who owns the intellectual property in materials published on the OpenLearn website?
The Open University owns and retains copyright in its course materials. However, our material also includes substantial extracts from other sources: quotations from books and journals, still and moving images, interviews with academic and subject experts and performers, and so on. We make use of these extracts under licence. We make every reasonable effort to clear and license our use of other rights holders’ work. We will remove promptly any material that infringes the rights of others. If you believe that any of our content is infringing the rights of others please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
What can I do with OpenLearn materials?
We aim to make OpenLearn content freely available for non-commercial educational use in all media worldwide. In the LearningSpace study unit materials in which we own copyright are licensed for you to use under the Creative Commons licence ‘Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share-Alike’.
This means that you must meet the following three requirements to use the materials:
- Your use is ‘non-commercial’.
- You always cite The Open University and retain the name of any original authors.
- You ‘share-alike’, that is, make any original or derivative works available under the same terms as our licence to you. Derivative works must be redeposited in the OpenLearn LabSpace.
We grant you the right to make use of the materials as they are or in modified form. You may translate, modify, print, network, reformat or change the materials in any way providing that you meet the terms of the licence. Unit materials in which we do not own copyright, but which we have licensed for use from other rights holders, are identified in the acknowledgements of every study unit and in the article information of other OpenLearn content. These extracts may be used freely as part of your use of the website but we are unable to grant the right to modify them or to use them as stand-alone items. The surrounding OpenLearn content may be modified, however, and the extract retained for use within the modified version.
What about licensing implications when using software tools?
OpenLearn is powered by a number of software tools released under GNU licences. You may use the software tools in accordance with the GNU licence. This allows you to use and modify the software for any purpose providing only that you make your amendments and improvements available for others to use under the same terms.
What does OpenLearn mean by ‘non-commercial’ use of OpenLearn materials?
The Open University considers ‘non-commercial’ to include educational institutions, commercial companies or individuals making use of OpenLearn content on a cost-recovery basis.
- You may use OpenLearn content in any format or medium, including photocopied or hard copy printouts, and make a small charge in order to recover the cost of printing.
- You may use content as part of a course for which you charge an admission fee.
- You may charge a fee for any value added services you add in producing or teaching based around the content providing that the content itself is not licensed to generate a separate, profitable income.
Our intention is to make these materials as widely and as freely available as possible.
How do I cite OpenLearn content?
If you use or amend or incorporate the LearningSpace content provided under a Creative Commons licence, use the following attribution: ‘(Unit name). An OpenLearn chunk used/reworked by permission of The Open University copyright © (Year).’ If a chunk has a named author then the following citation must be added ‘Written by (name)’. If your use is online, you must also include a link to the Creative Commons ‘Attribution; Non-commercial; Share Alike’ licence. If your use is offline include the web address http://www.open.edu/openlearn.’
How do I contribute my own work to OpenLearn?
The LabSpace has been built with you in mind. Take our content, rework it or adapt it for your own use and then contribute it back into the OpenLearn community by placing it in LabSpace. The LearningSpace has been developed with individual learners in mind and we take responsibility for the materials held there. It is not, therefore, possible to deposit materials in the LearningSpace, only in the LabSpace.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Tuesday, 2nd March 2010
Last updated on: Tuesday, 2nd March 2010
- Body text - Creative-Commons: The Open University
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