Intellectual Property Rights — Open Access for Researchers

Posted by Nehaa Chaudhari at Mar 19, 2015 02:30 PM |
In the year 2013, Nehaa Chaudhari had worked on a module on Intellectual Property Rights for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)'s Open Access Curriculum (Curriculum for Researchers) as part of a project for the Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia. UNESCO published the module this year. Nehaa Chaudhari and Varun Baliga were among the Module preparation team. Nehaa Chaudhari was the writer for Units 1, 2 and 3: Understanding Intellectual Property Rights, Copyright and Alternative to a Strict Copyright Regime.
Intellectual Property Rights — Open Access for Researchers

Cover design by The Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA)

This publication is available in Open Access under the Attribution - ShareAlike 3.0 IGO (CC-BY-SA 3.0 IGO) license ( By using the content of this publication, the users accept to be bound by the terms of use of the UNESCO Open Access Repository (

Module Introduction

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are set of rights associated with creations of the human mind. An output of the human mind may be attributed with intellectual property rights. These are like any other property, and the law allows the owner to use the same to economically profit from the intellectual work. Broadly IPR covers laws related to copyrights, patents and trademarks. While laws for these are different in different countries, they follow the international legal instruments. The establishment of the Wold Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has established the significance of IPR for the economic growth of nations in the knowledge economy.

This module has three units, and while the Unit 1 covers the basics of IPR, Unit 2 expands in detail the components of copyright and explains the origins and conventions associated with it. Unit 3 discusses the emergence of liberal licensing of copyrighted work to share human creation in the commons. In the last unit, we discuss the Creative Commons approach to licensing of creative works within the structures of the copyright regime that permits the authors to exercise their rights to share in the way they intend to. Creative Commons provides six different types of licenses, of which the Creative Commons Attribution license is the most widely used in research journals part of the Open Access framework.

At the end of this module, you are expected to be able to:

  • Understand intellectual property rights and related issues
  • Explain copyright, authors’ rights, licensing and retention of rights; and
  • Use the Creative Commons licensing system


Nehaa would like to thank Varun Baliga and Anirudh Sridhar for their research and writing support in Unit 1, and Samantha Cassar for Unit 2.

Click to download the PDF containing the Modules. Also read UNESCO’s Open Access (OA) Curriculum is now online