Conference 'Copyright and Universities: from
Principles to Practices'
Report of working conference
The goal of the 2nd conference, on 6 and 7 December, was to discuss
a set of principles, and to develop guidelines, for institutional
copyright policies and agreements with publishers. Proposals had
been formulated by the Steering Committee on the basis of the outcome
of the workshops of the Zwolle conference in June 2001. The Steering
Committee worked with representatives of academic authors, institutions,
publishers and libraries to consider balanced approaches to the
management of rights to achieve maximum access to information.
Conference chair was Dr. Sijbolt Noorda, vice-chairman of the SURF
Foundation, and President of the Universiteit van Amsterdam.
Participants, invited on a personal basis, were international stakeholders
in this field.
Conference discussion papers are published on this website.
The Zwolle approach: balancing stakeholders’ interests in
scholarship-friendly copyright practices
Report of working conference on Copyright and Universities:
from Principles to Practices, Zwolle 6 and 7 December 2002
‘Principles help direct the change in scholarly communication’,
‘An approach worthwhile and promising’: statements that
were heard after the two-day international conference in Zwolle
on copyright and universities. The approach taken by this second
Zwolle conference did not differ from that of its predecessor in
June 2001, as again the starting point was how to engage all the
parties involved and how to get areas of tension out of the way.
That we managed to do this became apparent on Saturday 7 December
2002 when the participants in the working conference ‘Copyright
and Universities: from Principles to Practices’ toasted a
For two days participants from the US, the UK, Australia, Spain,
the Czech Republic, Belgium, Norway, Germany and the Netherlands
spoke about optimising access to scholarly information. Those taking
part in the conference were not only universities and their managements
and policymakers but also publishers, librarians and authors and
their representatives. The aim of the conference was to reach agreement
on the Zwolle Principles, to identify future initiatives and to
promote the implementation of copyright policy within universities.
The conference was chaired by Dr Sijbolt Noorda, vice-chairman of
the SURF Foundation and President of the ‘Universiteit van
The topics covered by the conference were: the Zwolle Principles,
copyright policies for universities and issues for agreements with
publishers. A speaker introduced each topic and was followed by
a discussion between the participants in a break-out session, with
plenary feedback after each session.
Principles for scholarship friendly copyright
The first speaker was Dr Kenneth D. Crews, Director of the Copyright
Management Center at Indiana University, USA and a member of the
Steering Committee. Dr Crews outlined the background to the second
Zwolle conference and how it had come into being; in doing so he
went into the Steering Committee’s role in the preparation
of the documents for this conference. First of all he emphasised
the importance of the conference, stating that this conference stood
out from others in this field because of the diversity of its participants,
its international perspective and its emphasis on collaboration
between the various stakeholders.
After this general introduction Kenny Crews elucidated the Zwolle
Principles in detail. He stressed Principle 4, which states
that the allocation of rights is the starting point and in that
context one must not home in on copyright, but on the question of
which rights are important to which parties. As stated in the first
Principle, the various interests of the parties must be weighed
Breakout session on Principles
In the break-out session on the Principles the question put to the
participants was whether the Steering Committee had described the
problem and the solution correctly. The participants were also asked
whether they were able to support the Principles.
The feedback session showed that in general the problem –
improving access to scholarly information – had been described
well. Another aspect which emerged was that the Principles, though
of a high level of abstraction, were acceptable to the participants
provided a number of additions and textual changes were made. These
changes concerned, among other things, additional explanation of
the context of the Principles and the long-term preservation of
University Copyright Policy
The session on Copyright Policies for Universities was introduced
by Dr Ann Monotti, senior lecturer at Monash University, Melbourne,
Australia. After Dr Monotti had outlined the interaction of forces
surrounding academic authors, she went into the significance of
copyright policies. She noted that they could provide clarification
for the problem of the ownership of the rights and the balance of
rights between university and author, emphasising that these copyright
policies could not control the agreements with the publishers. Her
own research at Monash University had shown that academic staff
attached importance to the right to publish, the right to recognition,
personal financial reward and the right to make changes, and that
these rights ought certainly to be regulated in a copyright policy.
Taking two hypothetical situations as her starting point, Ann Monotti
also outlined the outcomes for ownership under different policies
applied by certain universities. She ended with the statement that
many models were possible but that a crucial aspect of them was
ownership. One also needed to be clear about which rights were enjoyed
by whom, with the associated question of whether these rights could
be identified. Lastly she wondered whether it was possible to identify
models which gave maximum access to scholarly information.
Breakout session on Policies
In the break-out session participants discussed the document produced
by the Steering Committee, ‘Outline
for Issues for University Policies'. This included a list of
possible topics to be covered in a copyright policy. From the break-out
session it emerged that greater emphasis could be given to certain
parts of the outline; for example, the ‘dispute resolution’
and the ‘enforcement and implementation’ needed to be
made clearer. What also came out from the session was that the ethos
of an institution needed to be very clear before its copyright policy
could be fleshed out.
It turned out that the participants found the issues for copyright
policies a handy tool for use as a checklist. The general perception
was that there was a need to come up with examples of ‘Good
Practices’ so that policymakers could reach for them if they
were engaged on drawing up a copyright policy. It was also a useful
tool for countries in central Europe which have little or no expertise
or experience in this field. A detailed description of the context
and how the document can be used in formulating a copyright policy
ought then to be added for institutions.
Copyright Agreements with Publishers
Martin Blume, chief editor of the American Physical Society, introduced
Saturday morning’s discussion of Issues for Agreements with
Publishers. His most important message was that it can be necessary
for publishers to arrange for copyrights to scholarly articles to
be transferred, with the publisher in turn giving rights back to
the author. Martin Blume’s presentation made an important
contribution to reciprocal understanding between the different stakeholders.
Breakout session on Agreements
For the purposes of the
agreements with publishers an analysis had been made of the
interests of the parties concerned. This analysis was discussed
in the break-out session, and important additions were suggested.
As for the policies, so too for the agreements examples of ‘Good
Practices’ were needed. It was also emphasised that extra
attention needs to be paid to the big differences between the disciplines.
During the last afternoon of the conference the participants concluded
that it had been very meaningful and that a follow-up was desirable.
They indicated that they were prepared to publicise the Principles
within their organisations and provide feedback on their experiences
of doing this.
They raised the point that in the follow-up stage attention would
need to be devoted to identifying and presenting examples of Good
Practices of both copyright policies of universities and agreements
with publishers. It was also recognised that it is of very great
importance to develop policy to raise awareness among the authors
of scholarly information. Help in doing this was promised by representatives
of authors’ organisations. The participants also considered
it desirable that in the follow-up stage the subject of the business
analysis should be raised, with attention paid to the changing roles
and positions of the different stakeholders and possible alternative
business models. Another conclusion concerned contributing to other
gatherings, such as for example in central Europe, on this subject.
Participants also agreed that it was desirable to seek funding to
facilitate this follow-up. Examples were put forward and suggestions
made of possible bodies which might provide money. The participants
also commented that the website http://www.surf.nl/copyright was
perceived to be a good and informative facility; in that context
they were also aware that we live in a dynamic environment and that
the site is ‘work in progress’; consequently it would
need to be modified and expanded regularly.
Finally, as the conference closed, it was evident that the first
Zwolle conference in June 2001 had provided an insight into the
issues that play a part in improving scholarly communication and
access to it. That conference identified the issues and methods
that needed to be worked out in detail. This second Zwolle conference
has now built a bridge between thinking and doing, by formulating
Principles and putting them into concrete terms. Zwolle III, anticipated
for late-2003, will need to concentrate on practices and ‘how
to make it work’, all this with the aim of assisting stakeholders
to achieve maximum access to scholarship without compromising quality
or academic freedom.
also our Press Release
Friday December 6
11.30: Registration + Lunch
13.00: Welcome and Opening by Sijbolt Noorda, chair of the conference,
vice-president SURF Foundation, president Universiteit van Amsterdam
for scholarship friendly copyright practices - introduction by Kenny
Crews, Professor, Indiana University School of Law, USA
13.50: Breakout session on Principles in three groups
16.00: Feedback to plenary
Copyright Policy - introduction by Ann Monotti, Senior Lecturer,
Monash University, Australia
16.50: Breakout session on Policies in three groups
18.00: Time to freshen up
18.45: Pre-dinner drinks
Saturday December 7
9.00: Feedback to plenary of discussions on Policies
Agreements with Publishers - introduction by Martin Blume, Editor-in-Chief,
the American Physical Society, USA
9.50: Breakout session on Agreements in three groups
11.30: Feedback to plenary
13.15: Agreement on Principles
Chairs breakout sessions: Teresa Hackett
(EBLIDA), Rachel Vance (Australian National University) and Leo
Voogt (Elsevier Science)
Rapporteurs breakout sessions: Chris
Bailey, Sally Morris and Fred Friend (all Steering Committee)
Conference discussion papers were the Draft Principles and
the Stakeholder's interests, Issues for University Policies and
Issues for Agreements:
Kenneth D. Crews on Copyright Management for Scholarship and Principles
Monotti on University Copyright Policies
Blume on 'Who should Own Scientific Papers?'
Discussions in the breakout sessions centred around three
sets of questions on the issues involved.
Conference participants came from Australia, Belgium, the Czech
Republic, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the United Kingdom and
the United States. Click
here for a list.
Foto: Henk Boeree
Information: Ms. Linda Hofman and Ms. Marieke Kramer
P.O. Box 2290
3500 GG Utrecht
The conference was held in the town of Zwolle, the Netherlands.