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Remove DEFRA’s right to remove copyright on 3rd sector ideas

Comment 7th July 2010

I run a not-for-profit organisation that works with communities to tackle energy reduction and adaptation called The Greening Campaign.  We find it very difficult to work with DEFRA because if we have a good idea as soon as we link with DEFRA  for funding, they then state they would publish all our intellectual property rights on the internet.  (They have stated to me in writing that nothing is out of bounds).  This would mean that our intellectual property rights are handed to our competitors (and all funding is secured on a competitive level for the 3rd sector).  Future funding would then mean we could be competing against our own ideas and developed programmes which would undermine our organisation.  This means we to date have not worked with DEFRA which is a great shame.  We are currently working with about 200 communities and would love to link this in to the government agenda as we work closely with local councils but cannot find a way to make the final link in the chain – central government. 

www.greening-campaign.co.uk

Why does this matter?

This is important because

  • DEFRA are not getting organisations like us working with them because they do not want to lose their copyright.  This means DEFRA is losing sight of 'best practice' which is a shame.
  • Organisations put many years into developing schemes and ideas and it is wrong that this is handed to other organsiations through DEFRA
  • By handing out organisations intellectual property rights it means the organisation will be competing against its own ideas in future funding rounds and this is unfair
  • By handing out organsiations intellectual property rights it means that it undermines the organisation that are successful and this could mean lots of experience and knowledge is lost if the organisation fails
  • It means that DEFRA is not building on best practice but actually undermining its development
  • It shows lack of value for the 3rd sector because it would not happen to a profit making company
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