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Re: IRB Issue James Brett 03 Mar 2004 10:58 EST

First I must tell you that I no longer represent the university whose email
system I continue to use as an emeritus research administrator.

It seems to me that the issue of IRB review of permission to use
copyrighted materials is unavoidable.  That is, the IRB must review the
materials to find out whether the investigator is using the complete
materials as copyrighted, or whether something has been added or
subtracted.  Use of materials in other than the copyrighted format is not
covered by the "fair use" doctrine, which means that the investigator must
have specific permission to use and to alter or amend.  Some authors will
not allow this, and the IRB needs to know that, too.

A detailed review of the use of copyrighted surveys, tests, etc. goes to
the issue of human subjects protections because altering and amending
certain kinds of materials may render them useless or less effective.
(Using some outdated materials may also be problematic.)

The copyright on research materials is in a real sense a signification of
the efficacy of the materials.  Therefore, permission to use the
copyrighted materials is a legal step inherent in copyright law and, as I
mentioned at the beginning, unavoidable.


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