The Copyright Literacy Review of 2017

Roman god of beginnings and transitions Janus. Public domain image from the British Library

We sensed that 2017 had been quite busy for the UK Copyright Literacy team, so we decided to review some of the highlights of our year going through the year, month by month. We also have a schedule of upcoming and previous events on the blog which acts as a record, but here’s what we came up with:

  • In January we set up the ‘Sherlock’ community of practice for London and South East copyright specialists and held the first meeting at LSE. Eighteen people came along and Monique wrote us a lovely blog post about it. Since this date the group have met 4 times and have set up an online Slack group for discussions.
  • In February we were invited to take part in Open Knowledge in Higher Education at the University Manchester – being part of this module was a fabulous opportunity – a chance to test out a new workshop, meet Martin Eve and think about the relationship between copyright literacy and open practices, and how we could develop similar courses at our own institutions.
  • March was a super busy month for us including: the OER17 conference where Jane spoke about our research on lecture capture, copyright and openness and met Michelle Reid, the Open Education Librarian from University of Texas, Arlington. We launched our survey of UK copyright specialists after deciding we wanted to find out more about what they did. It was a great opportunity to build on our original copyright literacy survey from 2014 and work with Philippa Hatch from Imperial. Jane also went to the ACRL conference in Baltimore and presented a lightning talk on copyright literacy. Here she met Paul Bond who created the US version of Copyright the Card Game.
  • In April we spoke at the CILIP Copyright Conference – it was a chance to talk about our research into how librarians feel about copyright and to discover what it feels like to have over 100 paper aeroplanes thrown at you. It was also the first outing for our 2017 tour t-shirt based on Guns ‘N Roses ‘Appetite for Destruction’.
  • April was also the LILAC conference in Swansea – we ran a workshop on creative approaches to copyright education which we’ve been refining workshop since then. And LILAC was also a chance to show off the prototype of our scholarly communications board game, The Publishing Trap, at the games competition Lagadothon. We got more feedback on the game as well as having another opportunity to talk about our phenomenographic research and ask to have more (copyright related) things thrown at us!
  • Finally in April Jane started her new job at City, University of London as a Senior Lecturer in Educational Development – yay!
  • In May we launched the E-CHARM project for Learning on Screen working with the lovely Lisa Jeskins. Jane keynoted at CILIP Wales which was a fun experience and led to the idea of translating the cards into Welsh. Chris also sat his King’s College London copyright law PGDip exams on the same day which was a culmination of 8 months of work with the law books.
  • June was another busy month with a joint keynote at CILIP Scotland in Dundee. This conference was one of the highlights of our 2017 tour: we perfected our double act routine, we threw things (sweets) at our audience and we talked some more about how copyright made people feel.
  • On June 20th we organised a workshop with colleagues from the UUK / Guild HE Copyright Working Group. The day long event focused on licences and exceptions, chaired by our friend Ronan Deazley. In the evening we attended the launch of a new resource for librarians and those in the cultural heritage sector, the Copyright Cortex, where we got to offer out copyright literacy goodies to various intellectual property law professors and practitioners.
  • In July we presented at the CILIP conference in Manchester – we had 50 people playing Copyright the Card Game v2.0 which we updated, redesigned and relaunched in beautiful technicolour!
  • Chris also got the news that he’d passed his PGDip in Copyright Law from King’s College London with merit – AWESOME news!
  • Meanwhile in August our article on librarians’ experiences of copyright, results from a phenomenographic study, was published in a special issue of the journal Library Management, as was the comparative paper on copyright literacy in 14 countries of which the UK was one.
  • Also in August we went to the IFLA World Library and Information Conference (WLIC) in Poland to take part in an offsite meeting on Models for Copyright Education in Information Literacy Programs. It was definitely the highlight of the year, 2 days in Wroclaw, a whirlwind of Polish culture (including a world record Polish traditional dance), IFLA copyright reform discussions and a whole day conference on copyright education where we were part of the opening panel. We subsequently submitted a paper to the Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship based on this work, hopefully to be published in 2018.
  • In September Jane went to the European Conference on Information Literacy in St Malo – ECIL is the ‘spiritual home’ of copyright literacy but she found out perhaps one can have too much copyright literacy [I don’t believe that’s true – Ed.] in a whole afternoon panel discussion on the topics with our friends from the international community! Her report on the conference has been published in the Journal of Information Literacy.
  • In October we were really busy as we launched the Publishing Trap to tie in with Open Access week – we finally pulled it off with help from a graphic designer, Lisa Johnstone and a launch event at the Drill Hall Library in Medway, followed up with a great session with 20 colleagues from City, University of London. The game was released under a CC-BY-NC-ND licence after a blog post on the prestigious LSE Impact Blog.
  • In November we had several meetings with the CLA as part of our UUK/GuildHE work, including a forum with a representative group of rights holders with whom we shared insights from our copyright literacy research. We played the Publishing Trap with European colleagues at the EBLIDA Expert Group on Information Law and we also presented Learning on Screen with the final report from E-CHARM.
  • In December we presented findings from E-CHARM at the Learning on Screen members day. We also ran a workshop at London Info International where we had the chance to play Copyright the Card Game with a mixture of publishers, librarians and other information professionals. And we ended the year by publishing the Copyright Officers survey report – Jane presented the findings at CITE meeting in London with Philippa Hatch.
  • And finally we were also very pleased to see another positive review of Copyright and E-Learning by Sarah McCleskey at Hofstra University Library in the Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship.
Wow, it has certainly been an eventful year and our statistics are looking good too! We now have almost 1000 followers on our Twitter account @UKCopyrightLit and have had over 10,000 visitors on our blog this year and over 20,000 page views. Our most popular webpage this year by far has been the page for Copyright the Card Game with 3235 hits this year, although the Publishing Trap page has had almost 1800 hits (and only went live in October this year). We’ve also had almost 1000 hits on the Icepops conference page. Our most popular two blog posts this year were from guest bloggers: the first by Dr Elizabeth (Lizzie) Gadd at Loughborough University entitled The university, its open access policy, the academics and their freedom and the second by Emilie Algenio on her work as a Copyright / Fair Use Librarian. We also gave the website a bit of an overhaul, so many thanks to help from Jade Kelsall for that, and great that it will be preserved for posterity in the UK Web Archive (see guest blog post from Louise Ashton of the British Library here).
We have plenty to look forward to in 2018, hopefully we’ll be slightly less busy, but we’ll have to see! Jane has signed up to study CopyrightX at Harvard Law School while Chris will be working on his masters dissertation. Our big excitement is going to be running our own event: Icepops which is being held in April 2018 as a satellite meeting of the LILAC Conference. The idea came about after attending the IFLA WLIC and wanting to create our own one day event where people could talk about creative and playful approaches to copyright education.
In the meantime, Happy New Year to everyone and thanks for all your support in 2017!
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