A working conference on copyright and universities took place
in June 2001, Zwolle, the Netherlands. The conference theme emphasized
copyright issues for universities with a particular focus on the
management of intellectual property rather than on allocation of
rights. An international delegation of participants agreed to collaborate
on Copyright Management for Scholarship. A major outcome from the
conference, was the agreement to develop a set of principles aimed
at optimising access to scholarly information in all formats, explaining
the underlying relationships of the stakeholders involved and providing
a guide to good practice on copyright policies in universities.
The principles are set within the framework laid out by
the Tempe principles and the report ‘Seizing the Moment
- Scientists’ Authorship Rights in the Digital Age’
American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The Tempe Principles state that:
“The academic community embraces the
concepts of copyright and fair use and seeks a balance in the interests
of owners and users in the digital environment. Universities, colleges,
and especially their faculties should manage copyright and its limitations
and exceptions in a manner that assures the faculty access to and
use of their own published works in their research and teaching.”
The AAAS report recommends that:
“…scientists, as authors, should
strive to use the leverage of their ownership of the bundle of copyright
rights, whether or not they transfer copyright, to secure licensing
terms that promote as much as possible ready access to and use of
their published work.”
The establishment of a set of core principles, focused on the thoughtful
understanding and application of copyright law to the management
of scholarly works, can permit the principal stakeholders in scholarly
communication—including authors, publishers, librarians, universities
and the public—to achieve maximum access to scholarship, to
strengthen academic freedom, and to enhance the quality of academic
work. The draft principles were presented to the second working
conference in December 2002 with the intention of urging the stakeholders
to publicly endorse these principles and to actively promote them.
There was constructive and thoughtful feedback, and the Principles
have now been adapted accordingly.
To assist stakeholders—including authors, publishers, librarians,
universities and the public—to achieve maximum access to scholarship
without compromising quality or academic freedom and without denying
aspects of costs and rewards involved.
1. Achievement of this objective requires the optimal management
of copyright in scholarly works to secure clear allocation of rights
that balance the interests of all stakeholders.
2. Optimal management may be achieved through thoughtful development
and implementation of policies, contracts, and other tools, as well
as processes and educational programs, (collectively “Copyright
Management”) that articulate the allocation of rights and
responsibilities with respect to scholarly works.
3. Appropriate Copyright Management and the interests of various
stakeholders will vary according to numerous factors, including
the nature of the work; for example, computer programs, journal
articles, databases and multimedia instructional works may require
4. In the development of Copyright Management, the primary focus
should be on the allocation to various stakeholders of specific
5. Copyright Management should strive to respect the interests
of all stakeholders involved in the use and management of scholarly
works; those interests may at times diverge, but will in many cases
6. All stakeholders in the management of the copyright in scholarly
works have an interest in attaining the highest standards of quality,
maximising current and future access, and ensuring preservation;
stakeholders should work together on an international basis to best
achieve these common goals and to develop a mutually supportive
community of interest.
7. All stakeholders should actively promote an understanding of
the important implications of copyright management of scholarly
work and encourage engagement with the development and implementation
of Copyright Management tools to achieve the overarching objective.
* February 18, 2003
The principles as outlined above have been endorsed by different
stakeholders during the working conference which took place in December
2002 in Zwolle, the Netherlands.
Further Examples of Principles
Property: an Association of Research Libraries Statement of Principles