Copyright literacy at the Westminster Media Forum

Slides from the Westminster Media Forum
On 16th July we were delighted to present (online) at the Westminster Media Forum on the Future of the UK’s Copyright Framework. Our topic was “Copyright and the COVID-19 Pandemic” and we discussed the impact on UK universities. Chris and I were speaking partly in our capacity as members of the UUK / Guild HE Copyright Negotiation and Advisory Committee.  We were part of a panel that also included Dr Duncan Campbell Senior Director, Global Sales Partnerships at Wiley.
We highlighted the copyright implications of the rapid shift to online learning that has been experienced in universities since the crisis started in March 2020. We discussed the provisions that have helped make content available to students, through either licences or copyright exceptions, but the problems that still remain specifically with ebook licensing models and with our ability to scan from print titles under the CLA Licence. For us the issue is about increasing copyright literacy in universities so that academic authors strike the right balance between their need to have their work published with the need to have openly available content for education. 
We had some interesting questions about the challenges of cross border teaching and the associated copyright challenges. We were also asked how far academics have engaged with open access from our own attempts to raise the issue at our institution and at a sector-wide level.  We’ve made our slides available on SlideShare for those who were not able to attend. 
This event was an opportunity bring together to key stakeholders and policy makers to consider the future of the UK’s copyright framework. In addition to our panel the event also covered the following:
  • The potential impact of the UK’s stance on the EU’s Copyright Directive on the future of UK copyright regulation, and implications for the UK’s economy and global competitive positioning
  • Regulation, innovation, and fair remuneration for creators and IP owners – a perspective from the US
  • Developing a UK future copyright framework that balances the interests of online publishers, content creators and IP owners with protections for freedom of expression and information online
  • Copyright policy and the way forward for achieving a fair, sustainable and open ecosystem for online content.

While many of the arguments from rightsholders and copyright users sounded familiar, it will be interesting to watch developments over the coming months and years because all parties were clear that the pandemic has created huge challenges for all stakeholders.

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