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Re: Contract wording James R. Brett 02 Apr 1998 13:19 EST

Establishing intellectual property rights in contracts is an industry
with its own scripts and concerns.  I do not disagree at all with my
colleague from CSU Fullerton has said on this.  I think there are some
fundamental concepts that get overlooked in the rush to craft good

The willingness of individual faculty members in what seem at the time to
be unique situations to give away the essence of their work is
understandable from the point of view of being funded or not, but each
instance contributes to what has become a large volume of censorship and
spin doctoring.  These issues are obviously central to some of the
founding ideas in our culture of higher education, to science itself, and
to academic freedom ultimately.

It is important to ask anyone who wants to hold back the results of
research the essential question: "why?"  Really!  If you begin from that
position as a negotiator, rather than from the stance that this
particular contract ain't no big thing as you take some model language
off the shelf, you are more likely to end up conserving our academic
integrity.  Start with the real questions and frame the language to fit
only the reasonable needs.  Yes, it takes longer.