Legal Aspects of Open Access to Publicly Funded Research

Publié le 31 août 2015, par Thérèse Hameau

Enquiries into Intellectual Property’s Economic Impact | Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development - OECD Report

Investment and growth in OECD economies is increasingly driven by investment in intangible assets, also known as knowledge-based capital (KBC). In many OECD countries, firms now invest as much or more in KBC as they do in physical capital such as machinery, equipment and buildings. This shift reflects a variety of long-term economic and institutional transformations in OECD economies.

As part of phase two of the KBC project, this report takes a closer look at IP’s role in OECD economies while examining some of the most significant changes to the landscape in which it is operating, including digitisation and the growth of the Internet.


Chapter 1 : Synthesis

Chapter 2 : Measuring the Technological and Economic Value of Patents

Chapter 3 : Approaches to the Protection of Trade Secrets

Chapter 4 : An Empirical Assessment of the Economic Implications of Protection for Trade Secrets

Chapter 5 : Copyright in the Digital Era : Country Studies

Chapter 6 : Design and Design Frameworks : Investing in KBC and Economic Performance

Chapter 7 : Legal Aspects of Open Access to Publicly Funded Research

Executive summary

This chapter gives an overview of the main legal issues and policy considerations involved in accessing, disseminating or using both publicly funded scientific publications and research data under open access (OA) conditions. The term open access is used to denote public availability of scientific output (publications and data) without payment and re-use restriction. This paper focuses on the legal aspects of OA to publicly funded research results and, in particular, it examines whether copyright law and database protection rights support, impede, enable or are neutral towards the implementation of open access principles for the dissemination of publicly funded scientific results.

After a general overview of intellectual property protection at the international level, Section 2 examines the laws of different jurisdictions (including countries from the European Union, the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan and South Korea) as they relate to the protection of scientific publications and research data. The brief overview of the copyright and, where applicable, the database legislation in force in the different jurisdictions shows that the scope of protection granted to research output varies significantly from one country to another. Although the implementation of OA principles is based on contractual arrangements between authors, publishers, universities, and funding organisations, the framework set by copyright and database protection regimes, where relevant, is an important factor in how those arrangements are formed.


Section 3 follows by highlighting the main characteristics of OA principles and policies in certain jurisdictions. Section 4 draws attention to two as yet unresolved issues, namely the problem of OA in the context of public-private partnerships and that of text and data mining (TDM). OA principles entail more than just granting access to research output free of charge. Where the funding of a research project is partly realised through external private sources, different rules of ownership may apply. What are the implications of applying OA principles to research results that are not funded entirely by public money ? The uncertainty in current legal frameworks regarding the scope of protection of works and databases could create obstacles for TDM activities. A system resting solely on licensing agreements might be insufficient to allow TDM to take place in all instances where it would be socially desirable.


Chapter 8 : Summary of the Expert Workshop, "Society’s Gain from the Intellectual Property Exchange"

Chapter 9 : IP-Based Financing of Innovative Firms

Chapter 7