Manage Your Rights

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Manage your rights

Manage your rights

Creators and owners of copyright should regard their copyright as valuable property and deal with it in a business-like way:

  • keep dated copies of material such as manuscripts, negatives, footage and recordings
  • keep copies of all communications with people who have access to the work
  • while assignments of copyright and exclusive licences must be in writing and signed by or on behalf of the copyright owner to be fully effective, it is a good idea for any agreements about copyright to be in writing.

Publishers' agreements

Publishers' agreements

When you publish your research the publisher may expect you to assign (transfer) copyright to them or licence rights to them. Publishers may also grant you back certain rights. This information is set out in the publisher's agreement.

Check what your publisher's agreement means for your current and future use of the work.

Before you sign an agreement you may want to negotiate the retention of some rights.

Assignment

Assigning rights means someone else becomes the copyright owner. The publisher may require you assign them all or just some of your rights under copyright.

Licensing

Licensing means you retain copyright but you grant the publisher certain rights to use your work for a specified period of time.

Exclusive licences

An exclusive licence means nobody except the licensee can do any of the things covered by the licence.

Non-exclusive licences

A non-exclusive licence means that as copyright owner you may still do the things covered by the licence and give the same licence to others.

Creative Commons licences

Creative Commons licences are a type of non-exclusive licence that give users permission to use your material in specified ways, subject to certain conditions.

Some publishers may offer you the opportunity to publish your work under a Creative Commons licence. Check the information on applying Creative Commons licences to find out more about the different Creative Commons licences.

What rights do you want to retain?

Consider how you want to be able to use your work in the future. Do you want to be able to:

  • deposit it in an open access repository such as Deakin Research Online (DRO)
  • make it available on your own website
  • use it in your teaching materials
  • make copies available to colleagues.

Check your publisher's agreement to see if you retain these rights.

Negotiating with publishers

You can check and compare the policies of different publishers using the SHERPA/RoMEO database.

If the agreement proposed by your publisher doesn't meet your needs, you can try negotiating with them to make changes. You could:

  • contact the publisher, explain what you want changed and ask them to make the changes to the agreement
  • attach an addendum to your publishing agreement to modify the publishing agreement. A sample addendum is available. Ensure you get the publisher's signature on the addendum and keep a copy of the agreement and addendum for your records.

Manage the rights to your thesis

Manage the rights to your research data

When sharing your data, think about how you want others to be able to use it and choose a licence to manage the rights to your data.

The main options for licensing data are:

Other options include:

  • Open Knowledge Foundation's Open Data Commons licences, which are similar to Creative Commons licences but have been designed specifically for databases
  • AusGOAL's restrictive licence, which has been developed specifically for research material when a Creative Commons licence cannot be used.

Manage the rights to your research data

Manage the rights to your research data

When sharing your data, think about how you want others to be able to use it and choose a licence to manage the rights to your data.

The main options for licensing data are:

Other options include:

  • Open Knowledge Foundation's Open Data Commons licences, which are similar to Creative Commons licences but have been designed specifically for databases
  • AusGOAL's restrictive licence, which has been developed specifically for research material when a Creative Commons licence cannot be used.

Apply Creative Commons licences

Apply Creative Commons licences

Creative Commons licences are a type of non-exclusive licence that copyright holders can apply to their work to give others permission to use to use it in specific ways under certain conditions.

If you apply a Creative Commons licence others will:

  • be able to use your work in certain ways without requesting permission from you
  • have to attribute you when they reuse your work.

Licence elements

The Creative Commons licence framework has four elements.

icon of attribution licence element Attribution

Users can copy, distribute, display, and perform the work - and derivative works based upon it - but only if they give the creator credit.


icon of non-commercial licence element NonCommercial

Users can copy, distribute, display, and perform the work - and derivative works based upon it - but for non-commercial purposes only.


icon of no-derivatives licence element NoDerivs

Users can copy, distribute, display, and perform only exact copies of the work, not derivative works based upon it.


icon of share alike licence element ShareAlike

Users can distribute derivative works only under the same licence as the original work.

Licences

The four licence elements can be combined into six licences.
attribution licence logo Attribution
attribution non-commercial licence logo Attribution-NonCommercial
attribution no derivatives logo Attribution-NoDerivs
attribution non commercial no derivs licence logo Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs
attribution share alike licence logo Attribution-ShareAlike
attribution non-commercial share alike licence Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

Considerations before applying Creative Commons licences

  • Does your work include any material created by other people? Do you have permission to release the material created by others under a Creative Commons licence? Generally you would need to request permission from the copyright holder to do this. Or if it has already been released under a Creative Commons licence then make sure the specific licence is compatible with the licence you want to apply.
  • Creative Commons licences are non-revocable. While you can stop making your work available under a Creative Commons licence, copies that were already made under the Creative Commons licence can still be used in accordance with that licence.
  • Have you already published the work, or do you want to publish it in the future? Check with your publisher whether it is OK to release a version of your work under a Creative Commons licence.
  • Do you want others to be able to reproduce and distribute your work without asking you for permission? If not, then a Creative Commons licence is probably not the right option for you. You may prefer to retain all your rights under the Copyright Act.
  • Do you want others to be able to make changes to your work, build upon it and create derivative works based on it? If not, choose a licence with the NoDerivatives element.
  • Are you OK with others making money when they reuse your content? If not, choose a licence with the NonCommerical element.
  • Do you want others to share their remixes of your work under the same licence? If so, choose a licence with the ShareAlike element.

For more information about considerations when applying Creative Commons licences to your work check the Creative Commons frequently asked questions for licensors.

How to apply Creative Commons licences

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