Open Access Policy In International Organisations19/06/2017 by Elise De Geyter for Intellectual Property Watch 3 CommentsShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service and depends on subscriptions. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You may also offer additional support with your subscription, or donate.Open access is “part of the DNA” of international intergovernmental organisations, Charlotte Beauchamp, head of editorial and design at the World Intellectual Property Organization, said during a workshop last week. Representatives of different international organisations described during the workshop the increasing use of an open access policy by their organisations. A workshop on International Organizations and Open Access was organised on 12 June during the World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2017 (WSIS Forum 2017), which took place from 12-16 June.The WSIS Forum, co-organised by the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU), UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), is the largest annual gathering in the world of the “ICT for development community” according to the ITU. The event was hosted by the ITU.L-R, front row: WIPO, WHO, ADB, CERN, Wikimedia. Back row: UNESCO, IFLA, WIPO (Beauchamp).Open AccessSeveral speakers underlined the large amount of data and content that is produced by international organisations.The question of open access is “much broader and more complex” than just access to research, Beauchamp said. The shared objective of open access is, according to Beauchamp, encouraging users to take the content and share it without any technical or licence barrier.The “big game changer” in the area of open access are the technical opportunities, Andrea Stojanov, head of Digital Communications at the Asian Development Bank, said.Stephen Wyber, manager, policy and advocacy, International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), said libraries have always pushed for more open access, in order to give different communities and public as much access as possible.Wyber said that access to information is “the driver of development.” Better access to information is “a key factor” in empowering individuals in creating more innovative societies, he added. Libraries have increasingly been focussing on making information “relevant and useful,” Wyber said.Open Access and International OrganisationsIan Coltart, manager, copyright, licensing and external publication at the World Health Organization, said that the traditional approach of WHO was to reserve all rights regarding a publication. Permission was required from WHO for the re-use of content, he added.The milestones of open access are the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities of 2003 and the Paris Open Educational Resources (OER) Declaration of 2012, according to Ian Denison, chief of UNESCO Publishing and Branding.The lack of an internal quality control framework was one of the reasons for the late movement by international organisations toward an open access policy, Denison said. Another reason was the lack of an open access licence which could be commonly used by all international organisations, he added. In 2013 a new licence, the Creative Commons 3.0 Intergovernmental Organisation Licence, the result of a collaboration between WIPO and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), was approved by a lot of international organisations, Denison said.An “extremely powerful and a strong political message” is given when an international organisation such as WIPO and UNESCO stands up and says that it goes for open access, according to Wyber.Impact of Open Access Coltart told the conference that the WHO aims at building a picture of the impact of publication under an open access licence. The objective is not to control the re-use of the content, but to verify whether the information is really open to everyone and map how people are using open data, Coltart said.CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, recently compared the average number of downloads of papers made available by open access with the average number of downloads of papers not made available by open access, Salvatore Mele, head of open access at CERN, said. The results clearly show that scientific papers were used by a factor of two to three times more after they were made open, he said.But experiments at CERN need a massive amount of money, which is provided by funds built over several years, Mele said. Making the data from the experiments openly available would reduce incentives for the investors, according to Mele. CERN found a middle way by making half of the data available several years after the experiment, he said.Marco Trovatello, cross-media coordination & strategy advisor at the European Space Agency (ESA), said that he “perfectly agreed’ with the way CERN controls the incentive of its funders.Stojanov of the Asian Development Bank said that people often underestimate the amount of work that is required to publish data in a consistent way with the correct metadata. She also said the Bank is looking at tracking use of its data, but did not say whether users would be made aware of the tracking.The Open Data for Development Network conducted a survey among the different types of users of open data. The qualitative research provides a good indication of the proof that people are actually using open data, Stojanov said.John Cummings, Wikimedian in Residence at UNESCO, said Wikipedia is a platform to make images from different sources, such as international organisations, available to a large audience. Newspapers often give Wikipedia credit for pictures they use, but Wikipedia does not obtain any copyright in pictures on its website, Cummings said, urging them to properly cite photos. The lack of attribution is one of the main reasons why it is difficult to verify how people use the content, according to Coltart.Practices of International Organisations Paolo Lanteri, legal officer in the copyright law division at WIPO, told the conference from the audience that WIPO licences out material it owns, but does not licence the documents owned by the member states unless it has received the permission of the member states to do so. International agreements are in the public domain and are not being licensed, Lanteri said.Several speakers noted that data cannot be copyrighted. Lanteri said the CC 3.0 IGO licence is a copyright licence and that data is not protected under it. Mele said that CERN used a CC zero licence for data. This waives all copyright and related rights, putting the material in the public domain.When pictures are made available by open access, there may be a risk that they will be used again in large advertisement campaigns potentially for tobacco or alcohol. In that case the right of privacy and personality rights come into play, Trovatello said.The WHO is particularly cautious about the use of information by private companies because this may impact the independence of the organisation, Coltart said. He added that the WHO now uses the CC BY licence as a default licence for external publications, and that certain publications fall under a more restrictive licence.Coltart said that WHO tries to mitigate potential problems with people reusing the materials of WHO. The level of litigation and problems about re-use of content under an open access licence worldwide is really low, Lanteri said.Elise De Geyter is an intern at Intellectual Property Watch and a candidate for the LLM Intellectual Property and Technology Law at the National University of Singapore (class 2017). Image Credits: William NewShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)RelatedElise De Geyter may be reached at email@example.com."Open Access Policy In International Organisations" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.