[EP-tech] Re: T&Cs

Tim Brody tdb2 at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Wed Mar 21 10:11:40 GMT 2012

On Wed, 21 Mar 2012 09:52:47 +0000, Stewart Brownrigg
<S.J.Brownrigg at kent.ac.uk> wrote:
> Apologies for cross posting ...
> Following Charles Oppenheim's RSP webinar on copyright we are looking at
> implementing Terms and Conditions at the point of full-text upload for
> Kent Academic Repository as KAR is moving toward a self-deposit model.
> in order to do so we need to look at ways to limit the liablity of the
> University against copyrighted material being hosted on KAR.
> What we are proposing is some sort of forced T&Cs tickbox at the point of
> upload which states that the depositor is sure the full-text upload is
> a breach of copyright.
> We seek input on the following problems this raises:
>  - Have other repositories implemented similar T&Cs?
>  - How have T&Cs been worded so as not to discourage full-text uploads?
>  - Does functionality to make this a forced option (much like the
>  requirement to agree to T&Cs before installing software for instance)
>  exist with in EPrints?


First-off I suggest this is largely a theoretical problem. User's have
already agreed to T&C that prohibit distributing unauthorized materials
(e.g. JANET regulations). So, the question is not that a repository is a
special case but that user's may be unaware (or don't care) of whether
someone is going to get upset at them uploading something. Unless you're
prepared to police everything that's uploaded (in which case you don't need
a tick-box) then you have to trust your users.

So, like any other site hosting user-uploaded content, the sensible
approach is to have a robust "take-down" policy. So what you *should* be
doing is telling your users that if they upload other people's copyrighted
material then it's liable to be taken-down without notice and that they are
subject to your normal University computing T&C, including any sanctions it
might have.

That said, if you really, really want to get into "legalese porn" then you
can add a tick-box field anywhere in the workflow with your T&C text and
set it as "required". From a UI perspective I wouldn't want to tick a box
every time someone uploads a file - that's going to get really annoying.

NB How does getting an employee to tick a box reduce the University's
liability? If someone uploads a Disney movie they're unlikely to come after
the user when it's sitting on your servers!

All the best,

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