Sunday, November 27, 2005

Crunch-time in Cambridge IP battle

Cambridge University has been busy trying to grab control of intellectual property generated by its staff. Its public justifications are completely specious:
The university is concerned that the current system penalises junior staff who contribute to research but sometimes miss out while distinguished heads of departments can make millions of pounds. It is also feared that inexperienced academics lack the skills to negotiate with venture capitalists.
Fixing these two problems requires the provision of advice to staff, not the theft of their IP. But then that wouldn't build the empires of the university's administrators.

Meanwhile, a even less-sophisticated propogandist is doing his best to bolster academic opposition to the plans:
David Norwood, chief executive of IP2IPO, described the reforms as essential. “These academics are happy to take the money and use the university’s infrastructure,” he said. “The idea that the intellectual property belongs to them is ridiculous. UK taxpayers are paying for this. We expect returns for the investment in them.”
Has Norwood looked recently at the story of the goose that laid the golden egg? Or academic pay scales?

Cambridge staff have until 12 December to protect their IP rights by voting for the amendments from the Campaign for Cambridge Freedoms.

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