Readers and copyright

Published on
March 30, 2010

Instructors who include work from non-Wageningen personnel in readers or in electronic learning environments (such as EduWeb or Blackboard) should consider copyright when using that type of work. The stipulations for using work from a third party are included in the reader agreement that Wageningen UR has signed with the Dutch Publishers’ Union and the Publication and Reproduction Rights (PRO) Foundation. The reader agreement differentiates between short and long pieces. For short pieces, users do not have to ask permission for use from copyright holders because Wageningen UR pays an annual compensation for these small pieces. For long pieces, users do have to ask permission and have to pay a fee per used piece. In both cases, instructors have to correctly cite the source and send an example of the reader to the PRO Foundation. Because this process isn’t centrally organised in Wageningen, the instructor has to send the reader to the foundation. Since the PRO Foundation had received few readers from Wageningen, it audited the university in September 2009 and, as a result, sent a retroactive bill for past readers. The PRO Foundation has also recently received access to the lesson material on BlackBoard. The Association of Universities in the Netherlands is currently negotiating a new reader agreement with the PRO Foundation. Costs and administrative expenses are the focus of the negotiation. The negotiation will also consider the fact that many publishers already allow articles and book chapters to be reused via licenses. These licenses regulate the online access to journals and books. Work published in 'open access' also implicitly or explicitly allows reuse if the source is cited. Internet references to articles fall outside the reader agreement and are preferred to placing the physical article in the lesson material.

(Newsletter 3-2010)