Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The truth about contracts

The truth about contracts. Kevin Smith. Scholarly Communications at Duke. February 13, 2015.
This post looks at how to license student work for deposit in an institutional repository and also some basic truths about contracts and licenses.  It is a good statement of what contracts and licenses are. Contracts are business documents, intended to accomplish specific goals shared by the parties; they should clearly express the intentions of the parties involved.

Contracts can supersede copyright law "not because they are so 'big' but because they are small."   A contract is a “private law” arrangement by which two or more parties rearrange their relationship.  It need not be formal; it is simply the mechanism we use to arrange our relationships in a great many situations, including teaching situations that implicate the copyrights held by students.

A license is “a revocable permission to commit some act that would otherwise be unlawful". Not all licenses are contracts, but most are.

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