OpenCourseWare is the free and open digital publication of high quality educational materials for non-commercial use, organized as courses. The OpenCourseWare Consortium is a collaboration of more than 200 higher education institutions and associated organizations from around the world creating a broad and deep body of open educational content using a shared model. The mission of the OpenCourseWare Consortium is to advance education and empower people worldwide through opencourseware. Further information.
From the beginning of the 2008/2009 academic year, every lecturer has the option to make his course materials available as OpenCourseWare. To do this, one needs to tick the corresponding box on the course material submission form. Any material that is published as OpenCourseWare should be IP-cleared, meaning that the publisher has the rights, either through ownership or by license (permission), to make the materials available under open terms and that nothing in the materials infringes the copyrights of others. The publisher may retain the right to publish the materials in other forums.
In plainer english this essentially means that the materials you make available on the course page (usually PDFs of lecture notes and problem sheets but not the original source latex etc) are openly available for non-commerical others to use as is, or, if they choose to take and extend or modify for their own uses. Whenever anyone obtains material for use or modification they must clearly credit the original author (i.e. people cannot simply claim it as their own even though they may use it as they wish for non-commerical purposes).
As with any course materials it must comply with standard copyright conditions.
To allow the department to formally join the consortium it needs to publish at least 10 courses as OpenCourseWare (although it is hoped we will far exceed this number). The department would strongly encourage lecturers to participate in the OpenCourseWare principles.