Introducing the TrustDR project

Joy Davidson | 06 December 2005

About TrustDR - Trust in Digital Repositories

The project has been funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) in the UK for a two-year period as part of the Digital Repositories Programme The project is to examine the practical issues in setting up digital rights management (DRM) systems in repositories of learning objects.

The main aims of this project are to explore the cultural, legal and technical issues that must be attended to in order to create legal agreements that can then be incorporated into a DRM system (please note that in the context of our project a system is not just about technical issues, but includes policies, protocols and perhaps most importantly cultural attitudes). The work of the project will be focussing on the real-world issues that people are encountering in creating and sharing materials in digital repositories and their associated digital content supply chains. We will be looking to provide guidance and development materials that people can use to create practical solutions to the task of managing the rights in their teaching materials.
For further information please visit the project website at:

TrustDR questionnaire
Due to your involvement in the areas of digital repositories and learning objects, we would like to invite you to respond to the questions below which address IP policies and procedures within institutions.

All information will be used purely for the purpose of gaining an insight into current practices to inform the work of the project and will only be used in this context. Any Policy documents supplied will be treated in confidence. It is hoped to carry out a mapping exercise between policies and existing licences, and for this all documents will be anonymised. If we wish to use extracts from policies for any other reason (for example to provide exemplars for a report) we will ask your permission. It may be that some of your policies are freely available on websites or under Freedom of Information publications, in which case a link to an online version would be sufficient at this time.

Please answer the questions in this email (see below) from which the responses will be anonymised. Please type in your answers beneath the questions in your reply and if possible attach any policy/procedure documentation referred to.

Don't worry if you are not able to answer all the questions, this is a fairly new and evolving area for most institutions, if you cant find the answer to a question just put don't know as your answer. As a tip we would suggest you should ask these kind of people some of these questions if you do not know the answers - college or university secretary and Librarian , the human resources Dept., internal e-learning support and media design units, commercialisation office, deputy principals, deans.

Questions about Policy and Infrastructure
What policy / guidance documents does your institution have about IP (Intellectual Property) ownership and management in teaching materials that are created in the institution? (Please send relevant documents if possible)

Are there any licenses, agreements, and procedures your institution uses to manage IP in teaching materials (including employment contract clauses) that are created internally? (Please send relevant documents if possible)

Is there any policy for managing 3rd party materials used in teaching materials including any sanctions applied for mis-use?

Is there an institutional teaching and learning strategy and does it make any mention of e-learning, distance learning etc?

Is there any policy / guidance on acceptable use of university IT systems for staff and students and what sanctions may be applied

Where are digital teaching materials currently stored?
*Departmental web site
*Shared drive
*Central Institutional service/repository
*Personal Computer
*Other (please describe)

Is there any information available about the IP status of the teaching materials?

Is there any information available about the IP status of the teaching materials?

Are there any procedures for dealing with complaints from rights holders against the institution?

Questions about People
Who are the designated persons with responsibility for signing licenses and legal documents on behalf of the institution?

Who is involved in negotiations with rights holders, both internal and external, for instance to use 3rd party commercial materials, and anyone responsible for overseeing compliance with license terms.

What range of staff is involved in developing teaching materials internally and for sale or sharing with outside bodies?

Who is involved in managing commercialisation activities at the institution?

Who is responsibility for institutional knowledge management, exploitation of the knowledge base and archiving it?

Who has institutional strategic responsibility for teaching / distance learning / e learning?

Who currently pays for licenses to use 3rd party materials?

Who would deal with complaints from rights holders against the institution?

Please feel free to contact me if you have any queries regarding our project. Many thanks for your interest

Jackie Proven
Digital Rights Research & Development Assistant
TrustDR JISC Project
UHI Millennium Institute