In 2013, Nehaa Chaudhari worked on a module on Intellectual Property Rights for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s Open Access Curriculum (Curriculum for Researchers) as part of a project for the Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia.
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are set of rights associated with creations of the human mind. An output of the human mind may be attributed with intellectual property rights. These are like any other property, and the law allows the owner to use the same to economically profit from the intellectual work. Broadly IPR covers laws related to copyrights, patents and trademarks. While laws for these are different in different countries, they follow the international legal instruments. The establishment of the Wold Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has established the significance of IPR for the economic growth of nations in the knowledge economy.
This module has three units, and while the Unit 1 covers the basics of IPR, Unit 2 expands in detail the components of copyright and explains the origins and conventions associated with it. Unit 3 discusses the emergence of liberal licensing of copyrighted work to share human creation in the commons. In the last unit, we discuss the Creative Commons approach to licensing of creative works within the structures of the copyright regime that permits the authors to exercise their rights to share in the way they intend to. Creative Commons provides six different types of licenses, of which the Creative Commons Attribution license is the most widely used in research journals part of the Open Access framework.
At the end of this module, you are expected to be able to:
- Understand intellectual property rights and related issues
- Explain copyright, authors’ rights, licensing and retention of rights; and
- Use the Creative Commons licensing system
Nehaa would like to thank Varun Baliga and Anirudh Sridhar for their research and writing support in Unit 1, and Samantha Cassar for Unit 2.