IST Programme RESPECT: an IST Programme Project
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RESPECT for intellectual property: basic principles


The following questions and principles should be taken into account when conducting socio-economic research:

  • Recognising that intellectual property rights are typically relevant to socio-economic research.

  • Understanding the application of international and multiple national intellectual property laws in modern socio-economic research, especially regarding online activities.

  • Identifying what kind of material used in socio-economic research is protected by copyright legislation (copyright, database protection, software protection).

  • Examining what kind of rights are reserved for the author and what acts are therefore restricted under copyright legislation.

  • Finding out what kind of exceptions/exemptions/limitations might apply to socio-economic research.

  • Realising the consequences of copyright violations.

  • Keeping in mind contractual questions. Realising how to use licences and assignments of rights.

  • Taking into account how employment contracts might affect intellectual property.

Basic rules to be followed by a socio-economic researcher in order to use contents in accordance with intellectual property law:

  • Finding out whether questions of intellectual property rights are concerned in the particular case (identification of IP-Protection relevant for socio-economic research).

  • Examining which laws apply (question of applicable laws/private international law).

  • Finding out whether any created or used material is protected by copyright, database and/or software protection.

  • Figuring out whether the conduct in question is generally subject to restrictions due to intellectual property rights.

  • Checking whether any legal permission (especially exceptions) might apply to the conduct in question.

  • If statutory permissions do not cover the research activity in question, identifying the copyright owner in order to conclude contracts (licence agreements) with the authors/right holders to obtain their authorisations for the specific use within socio-economic research.