IFLA Copyright Education event

Wroclaw: the waterfront by smif on Flickr CC-NC-ND https://flic.kr/p/6mnHkg

The UK Copyright Literacy team are taking a short break next week for respective summer hols, but we have been really busy preparing for one of the highlights of our 2017 tour which is later this month in Wroclaw, Poland. As part of the IFLA World Congress the Copyright and other Legal Matters Committee and the Information Literacy Section Committee are organising a one day event on Models for Copyright Education in Information Literacy Programs on 23rd August at the University of Lower Silesia.

We first heard about this event nearly a year ago at ECIL 2016 in Prague and it seemed like a perfect opportunity to present some of the collective findings from the international copyright literacy survey. A group of us submitted a proposal for a panel discussion when the call for papers was issued in the spring and we were delighted to be invited to give the opening keynote.
Chris and I are being joined by colleagues from Sweden, Norway, Turkey and Romania at the event. The founder of the copyright literacy survey, Tania Todorova sadly can’t be with us but she’s prepared some remarks. The jointly authored paper on our comparative study of copyright literacy of library and information professionals in 14 countries should also be published in the journal Library Management by the time of the conference.
We will also get to spend the day beforehand at IFLA and hope to see something of Wroclaw. We are putting the finishing touches to our presentation this week before some much needed rest. We will be sharing our slides and reflections on the day on the blog in due course, but we are both really looking forward to meeting some old and new friends in Poland. The full programme for the day is available online and it’s an exciting day reflecting the growing interest in copyright education around the world. We think it is helpful to see copyright education as part of information literacy, and this was the topic of one of the first pieces of joint writing we did back in August 2015 for a CILIP blog post. It’s going to be really exciting to discuss this with librarians and researchers from around the world in a few weeks’ time.

Copyright literacy and LIS students: a new survey is launched!

The International Copyright Literacy team have launched a new multi-national survey, this time focusing on Library and Information Science (LIS) students and their levels of knowledge about copyright. Unable to resist the opportunity to do further research, we at UKCL have decided to join this study to gather data from LIS students. We are looking to get responses from students currently studying for a library and information qualification at any UK institution. Even if you are based elsewhere in the world, if your qualification is from a UK university (e.g. you are a distance learning student living outside the UK but studying at Aberystwyth or Robert Gordon University) we want to hear from you.
We know many of you will have finished your formal studies now and you might be working on a thesis or dissertation over the summer. You are just the people we are looking for, so please take a short break from your research to help us with ours! It is a short survey and won’t take more than 15 minutes to complete, but will give us valuable data about your level of knowledge about copyright, how important you think it might be in your work as a librarian or information professional and how prepared you feel for dealing with copyright matters in your future career. The survey findings will allow us to benchmark UK based students with those around the world. A full summary of the findings will be made available from this website.
Please complete the survey here: http://inlitas.org/survey/index.php/348627?lang=en
The survey will be open for 5 weeks, so please complete it by 31st August 2017.
If you are interested in any of our previous research on copyright literacy and want to find out more then visit our website. If you have any questions then please email ukcopyrightlit@gmail.com

Access Copyright v. York University (2017): in defence of fair dealing

This is a guest post from Lisa Di Valentino originally published on her blog Fair Dealing in Education. Lisa, MLIS, JD, PhD, is Law & Public Policy Librarian at University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has a PhD from the University of Western Ontario entitled Laying the Foundation for Copyright Policy and Practice in Canadian Universities. She reports on the recent case in Canada concerning what constitutes fair dealing, involving York University and Access Copyright. We should make it clear that the situation in Canada is different from that in the UK with a different jurisdiction (albeit based on the same Commonwealth model) and a different reprographic rights organisation. However we think the parallels are interesting to consider both for those in the UK and elsewhere and we’re really appreciative of Lisa allowing us to share her analysis of this important ruling.

On July 12, 2017, the Federal Court of Canada handed down its long-awaited decision in Access Copyright’s lawsuit against York University (York), originally filed on April 13, 2013. The suit related to York’s copyright policy and whether their fair dealing guidelines accurately reflected the test set out by the Supreme Court.

Fair dealing is an “exception” to copyright infringement, where small parts of a copyrighted work can be copied for certain purposes (such as research or education), without having to seek permission or pay the copyright owner. An example of this in Canada would be copying a law journal article for legal research, or copying a few pages from a textbook for students to study from. Not every instance of copying for for research or education is fair dealing. In addition to being for an allowed purpose, the copying must also be “fair”.

In a 2006 judicial decision, CCH Canadian Ltd. v. Law Society of Upper Canada (CCH), the Supreme Court of Canada had set out a test to determine whether a reproduction can be considered “fair”, and therefore free of payment or permission. They also referred to fair dealing as a “user’s right” and an integral part of the copyright scheme, rather than merely a defence or excuse for copying.

Access Copyright (AC) is a not-for-profit organisation that represents copyright owners of textual works. AC can enter into agreements with other institutions on copyright owners’ behalf, such as “blanket licences” that allow the institution to make certain types of copies from AC’s repertoire for a yearly payment. In 2010, AC attempted to increase the yearly cost of the blanket licence, to take into account the increasing use of digital versions of texts, for example in a learning management system. Many universities objected to this increase and decided to rely on fair dealing and other “exceptions” to copyright infringement, in order to make these types of copies without payment. AC applied to the Copyright Board for a tariff, which is similar to a licence, but would apply generally and not only to those who enter into an agreement with AC. While the Copyright Board were considering AC’s application, they certified an Interim Tariff which has been in effect since.

York, and other universities, interpreted this to mean that whatever copies they made under the fair dealing right would not be subject to the Interim Tariff, so they set about instituting policies and guidelines for faculty who make copies of works for teaching purposes. York’s policy (reproduced in the court’s decision) referred to anything up to 10% of a work, or one chapter of a book, or one academic article from a journal issue (among other examples), to be fair dealing. These limits cover a great deal of what is usually used in university courses. Often these copies will be bound together in a “coursepack”, a print or digital book that is used alongside, or in place of, the traditional textbook. The blanket licence with AC that York previously used had almost identical limits.

AC brought suit against York University in Federal Court, claiming that the university’s copying policy was not representative of fair dealing as set out by the Supreme Court, and so York should have to pay all the retroactive royalties under the Interim Tariff. York countersued, seeking a declaration from the court that their policy did accurately represent fair dealing, and subsequently all the copies made under it were royalty-free.

The result was a complete loss for York on all points, and an order to pay retroactive royalties as set by the Copyright Board in its Interim Tariff. However, the trial judge’s interpretation of fair dealing is, in large part, inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s guidance that was given in the CCH case.

As the decision is likely to be appealed (and it should be, not least because it will have an effect on the dozens of other universities that use a same or similar policy), I’d like to discuss here what will we be (or should be) the main points of legal argument before the higher court. I will focus here on the fair dealing analysis (starting at para. 249) rather than the Interim Tariff, which is an issue discussed in detail by Howard Knopf and Ariel Katz.

[Michael Geist’s analysis of the York decision can be found here.]

The Supreme Court has been quite clear on several occasions that fair dealing is a right of users, necessary to maintain the balance inherent in the objectives of copyright law. They first used this language in the seminal CCH v. LSUC (CCH) case in 2004, and repeated it in a set of of copyright cases in 2012, in particular SOCAN v. Bell (Bell) and Alberta v. Access Copyright (Alberta).

Unfortunately, the Federal Court’s decision in Access Copyright v. York University does not reflect this important aspect of copyright in his analysis of the various factors of the fair dealing test.

Purpose of the dealing

Phelan J. (the judge in this case) distinguishes York from CCH in that the copying done in CCH was for others (the library made copies as requested by lawyers off-site), while the copying at York was done “to serve York’s interests and the interests of its faculty and students.” (para. 260) The significance of this distinction is not clear to me. Phelan J. may be suggesting that York’s fair dealing policy and practices are not reliable because they are focused on their own benefit rather than that of the public, or the copyright owner, or some other third party.

He subsequently claims that “It is evident that York created the Guidelines and operated under them primarily to obtain for free that which they had previously paid for.” (para. 272) However, one would think that the majority of fair dealing is done for the user’s interest in that they are copying things for their own use, and with the expectation that no payment is required. I don’t know why that would make a difference in the final analysis; there needn’t be any altruistic motivation to take advantage of one’s own rights.

Character of the dealing

Due to the “unreliability” of York’s evidence (data and expert testimony) as to the actual extent of copying and access to copies, Phelan J. determined that the character of the dealing “tends toward the unfairness end of the spectrum.” (para. 289)

Amount of the dealing

This, according to the decision, is “particularly important in this case” and “problematic” for York (para. 294). Unfortunately Phelan J. misunderstands what “amount” is referring to. In Bell, the Supreme Court explicitly cautioned that the amount to be looked at is the proportion of the work used compared to the whole, not the total amount of copies made: “Since fair dealing is a ‘user’s’ right, the ‘amount of the dealing’ factor should be assessed based on the individual use, not the amount of the dealing in the aggregate. The appropriate measure under this factor is therefore, as the Board noted, the proportion of the excerpt used in relation to the whole work.” (para. 41). However, Phelan J. asserts that “It is relevant to consider the aggregate volume of copying by by all post-secondary institutions that would be allowed if the Guidelines or similar policies were adopted.” (York, para. 301) (I would like to suggest that this factor be renamed to “Proportion of the work” or “Percentage of the work” to avoid further confusion.)

A subsequent paragraph reads: “As became apparent during the course of the trial and as is clear from the terms of the Guidelines, the permitted copying can, in fact, be 100% or such a large part of a work as to appropriate the whole (e.g. for a journal article in a periodical, a short story in an anthology, or a chapter in an edited book).” (para. 310) Phelan J. seems to be suggesting that York (or the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, who drafted the model policy) pulled this proportion out of thin air; however, the Supreme Court have said essentially the same thing: “It may be possible to deal fairly with a whole work…. The amount taken may also be more or less fair depending on the purpose. For example, for the purpose of research or private study, it may be essential to copy an entire academic article or an entire judicial decision.” (CCH, para. 56)

As for the qualitative aspect, or the importance of the portion compared to the whole (i.e. whether the portion copied represents the “core” of the work), Phelan J. engages in circular reasoning when he asserts that “Where a chapter from a book can stand alone and be important enough to be taken from the whole for inclusion in a course’s required reading, there is little doubt that the copied part is qualitatively significant to the work and to the author’s contribution.” (York, para. 317) This suggests that any dealing is automatically unfair to some degree because the portion copied is important enough that the copier feels the need to copy it.

Alternatives to the dealing

The Supreme Court in CCH noted that there may be alternatives such that the copying is unnecessary. They said “If there is a non-copyrighted equivalent of the work that could have been used instead of the copyrighted work, this should be considered by the court.” (para. 57) (While the court did not mention publicly-licensed and open access, these would be suitable alternatives as well.)

In Alberta the Supreme Court rejected the idea that a textbook for each student should be purchased if only a small portion is necessary to achieve the ultimate purpose (para. 31-32).

Importantly, whether the copy could have been paid for via licence (such as a blanket licence offered by AC) is explicitly not a consideration: “The availability of a licence is not relevant to deciding whether a dealing has been fair.” (CCH, para. 70). However, while Phelan J. acknowledges this in York, he goes on to suggest alternatives that are, in essence, the same as purchasing a licence: using custom book services (which themselves pay licence fees which are passed on to the customer), or purchasing individual articles from the publisher (para. 330). In CCH, the court pointed out that fair dealing is an integral part of copyright (para. 70). Obviously, paying for the copy is an “alternative” to not paying for the copy, but if it were considered an alternative to the dealing for the purposes of this factor, it would always be unfair. Fair dealing is not an infringement of copyright; it is the right to copy (parts of) a work without paying for it at all.

Despite this, Phelan J. does acknowledge that in the end, this factor slightly favours York (para. 331).

Nature of the work

Phelan J. points out that there is “significant work, research, skill, and expense” involved in bringing materials to publication, whether they are poems, journal articles, or textbooks, and that “Most of these people [professional writers] are attempting to make a living from writing and publishing.” (para. 336). This is true. However, it is not relevant to the fair dealing analysis. In CCH the Supreme Court ruled that a non-trivial “exercise of skill and judgment” is necessary for a work to be protected under copyright (para. 16) – so, for example, a collection of names in a phone book, sorted alphabetically, would not attract copyright protection, as it only involves a trivial amount of judgment. However, nowhere in CCH or the Supreme Court’s related decisions is fair dealing predicated on the amount of work or creativity or skill or expense required to publish a copyrighted work; even the magnum opus of the greatest artist in history is subject to the limitations of user rights.

By “nature of the work”, the Supreme Court are referring to whether a work is published or confidential, and whether its reproduction could lead to further dissemination, to the benefit of the public. Admittedly there is not much guidance for this factor, as Alberta and Bell do not really address it. But to interpret it to mean that “the harder an author or publisher has worked on something, and the more money that has been spent, the less fair a dealing might be” is to completely ignore the objective of copyright law, which is not only to encourage creation of works, but also their dissemination and incorporation into future works.

Effect of the dealing on the work

As Phelan J. points out, it is up to Access Copyright to provide evidence that they suffered a decline in sales that is linked to the copying taking place at York. However, he goes on to say that York’s copying does not need to be the only or dominant reason for the decline. He provides no precedent or reasoning for this other than that the Supreme Court haven’t said otherwise (para. 342). The evidence (which we do not have access to except for a summary), shows “an acceleration of the decline in the sale of works produced for the post-secondary educational market” since the introduction of the fair dealing policy (para. 347).

However, there is a chicken-and-egg element to this case. If universities have previously been contributing to sales because they were paying for things they did not have to pay for, then naturally sales will drop when they stop paying. This was even pointed out by Access Copyright — the same type of copying had been going on for many years prior to the introduction of the fair dealing policy, except it was under the terms of a blanket licence (para. 350). These terms were substantially similar to the types of copying that could be considered fair dealing after CCH and later copyright cases. Hence, universities declined to renew the licences and instituted fair dealing policies. This is not necessarily evidence that the dealing is unfair, it could equally prove that universities were simply not taking advantage of their rights in the past.


The sense that I get from Phelan J.’s decision is that he believes York (and by extension, other universities using the same fair dealing policy) have suddenly taken advantage of a proffered gift (fair dealing) and are running amok with it, to the ruination of publishers and authors. I believe that universities have been entitled to fair dealing all along, and that they are finally realizing that they are paying for uses that they do not have to pay for. Naturally, if a business model involves getting people to pay for what they could (are supposed to) have for free, there will be a significant drop in income once they catch on.

York’s fair dealing policy is not perfect. I have argued elsewhere (chapter 7) that these policies should provide more guidance and avoid “bright line rule-making” that obscures the flexibility of the fair dealing analysis. Neither York nor the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada could justify the 10% threshold in this case. It’s probably too much in some cases; it could be too little in other cases.

Furthermore, the absence of safeguards appears to be a big factor in Phelan J.’s conclusion that York’s policy did not translate to actual fair dealing in practice (e.g. para. 266). It’s important for institutions to have someone that can provide guidance in interpreting the policy and make decisions in “iffy” situations. In CCH this role was taken by the reference librarian, as per the Great Library’s Access to the Law Policy, and this was noted by the court in York (“copying at a single location under the supervision and control of research librarians”, “a policy strictly applied and enforced by librarians”) (para. 262).

University librarians and copyright officers can also help faculty find alternatives to relying on fair dealing such as works that the university already pays for via publisher or database licences, public domain materials, and publicly-licensed or “open access” materials (e.g. Creative Commons). Importantly, librarians can and should encourage faculty and researchers to publish in open access journals, and contribute to open access educational materials, to further expand the pool of readily-available works.

Another claim made by AC in the lawsuit was that particular named faculty members were making excessive copies far outside what could be considered fair dealing (even by York’s own policy), perhaps under the erroneous belief that any copying done in an educational context is not infringement. This is a not uncommon belief, which underscores the need for copyright education among faculty (both research and teaching). Whatever form this education or training takes, at the very least it will make faculty aware that one the one hand there are limits to copying, even for teaching purposes, and on the other hand, they may be entitled to copy more than they think. From a risk-management perspective, this can only help to reduce the likelihood of a lawsuit, and serve as an element of a defence if one arises.

Public Art and Policy: Educating Library Users in Copyright Literacy

This blog post is written by Karolina Andersdotter who worked at IFLA for the past year after completing a masters at Kings College, London in Digital Humanities. It is re-posted from Karolina’s blog with permission and describes Karolina’s ongoing work to spread the word about the importance for copyright literacy among the general public in Sweden. She worked with Mozilla to organise a Maker Party, to encourage people to understand more about copyright and public works of art and contribute to the Wikimedia commons.

As part of Kista Library’s Welcome Refugee Days on 17-20 June I arranged a Mozilla Maker Party to teach the public library users about copyright in everyday life. While copyright might seem like a difficult and dull topic of interest only to a select few (mainly creators and lawyers), it is actually one of the most urgent topics of media and information literacy (MIL).

Why is copyright essential to media and information literacy?

In the 2013 UNESCO publication Media and Information Literacy: Policy and Strategy Guidelines, UNESCO gives ”a full recognition that copyright is essential for enhancing individual creativity, for the advancement of knowledge and cultural expressions, and for the promotion of cultural diversity”,  while underlining that there is a difference between protectionism and empowerment when advocating for ethical use of media and information. A protectionist policy would e.g. be ”focus[sing] on copyright of scientific and educational resources”, while an empowering policy would be ”advocacy through MIL for open education resources and open access to scientific information”. Marika Alneng, author of Folkbibliotek i förändring – navigera med medie- och informationskunnighet (The changing public library – a navigation through media and information literacy, my translation), describes copyright as one of eight common denominators for the MIL teaching practises of public libraries in Sweden. She notes – and I wholeheartedly agree – that teaching copyright literacy to librarians (who in turn will teach the library users) could be done on a more positive note. To focus on what you can do, instead of what you can’t do would be much more beneficial for the creativity and innovation that the European Union strives for (cf. (4) in the InfoSoc Directive (2001/29/EC)). Such an empowerment focus should also aim to increase the legal confidence of librarians – a greatly desired skill, as librarians are the citizens’ go-to-persons for all things digital in the information society.

What is a Maker Party?

Mozilla describes their Maker Party as ”a place for artists to connect with educators; for activists to trade ideas with coders; and for entrepreneurs to chat with makers. It’s a place to network, innovate and make a difference.” In 2016, the Maker Party theme of the year was ”to challenge outdated copyright laws in the European Union.” Mozilla had prepared three different activities which all highlighted European copyright absurdities – and how to advocate for changing them – in a modern sharing-is-caring society: Post Crimes, Meme Around, and Contributing to the Commons. Since all 28 member states of the European Union have different copyright legislations, I tweaked the activities to fit the Swedish circumstances. (It is for example a bit unclear to me if the Swedish quotation exception in copyright actually covers the making of memes and reaction gifs. Read more here about the European Parliament’s proposed changes to EU copyright – fingers crossed we can all meme around in the future!)

The Public Art Conundrum of Sweden

However, it is painstakingly clear that publishing pictures of public art online is not allowed according to Swedish copyright law – Sweden’s highest court judged in favour of the Visual Arts Copyright Society in Sweden in their case against Wikimedia Sweden, arguing that while individuals were permitted to photograph artwork on display in public spaces, it was ”an entirely different matter” to make the photographs available in a database for free and unlimited use. But what is a database? Well, BASICALLY EVERYTHING ONLINE. Oxford Dictionaries defines database as:

”[A] structured set of data held in a computer, especially one that is accessible in various ways.”

This means posting pictures of public art in Sweden online (whether it is on a tourist selfie or on a Wikipedia page) is copyright infringement. This includes sharing pictures on social media platforms such as Flickr, Facebook, and Instagram. Oh, to imagine I used to make fun of photographing the Eiffel tower in the day time vs. the night time…!

A map showing various stages of freedom of panorama in copyright legislation. Note how red Sweden is! Like one, big August crayfish party. (Map from Wikimedia Commons, by Mardus et al. CC BY-SA 3.0)

So, what to make of this? I had an idea.

Activity 1: A City Tour of Public Art

Cameras ready! And back to the Maker Party in Kista: I decided to construct a city tour of public art, where the library users were given a map pointing out public art in the vicinity of the library. They were invited to walk this tour and learn a bit more about the works of art, and by doing so also learning about their local society, it’s history and the cultural landscaping of the city. Indeed, the colourful pillars at the metro station in Kista is not an architectural curiosity like the tower in Pisa, but an artistic interpretation of the transition between rest and dynamic movement. Who knew? PDF’s with the City Tour maps can be found at the bottom of this post. When finishing the tour, the participants were introduced to a second map, one where the location markers had been replaced with either a red x (meaning the work could not be photographed and shared in a digital format) or a green check (meaning the work could be photographed and shared in a digital format). As the Swedish copyright law states that copyright expires 70 years after the author’s death, any public work of art made by an artist who died 1946 or earlier can be photographed and shared freely online.


This means good news for old kings…


… but bad news for Marianne Lindberg de Geer‘s sexually hyperactive granite rabbits.

Activity 2: Contributing to the Commons

The second activity was meant to empower the users (much welcomed after introducing the supreme court’s protectionist view on public art) and was presented in a simple poster exhibition which introduced the Swedish copyright law, Creative Commons licences, where to find CC materials, and the photo challenge of Wikimedia Commons. This activity was based on the Mozilla Maker Party activity with the same name. Due to the drop-in organisation of my maker party it wasn’t possible to follow their schedule, but the components were there all the same. The aim was to, in a simple way, explain how digital creativity and copyright can be used to share and remix content, and also showcase how this can be built upon to support digital innovation and entrepeneurship. While it may seem a bit far-fetched, there is a strong connection to the Welcome Refugee Days event: by teaching library visitors about the legal system governing digital innovation and creativity they can get the knowledge and confidence to start their own businesses – which leads to both digital inclusion and integration into society. In other words, getting a key to solve one issue may get you past all those other doors as well.

Materials used in the Maker Party

  1. Kista Public Art City Tour – 2 pages, A4
  2. Kungsträdgården Public Art City Tour – 2 pages, A4
  3. Poster Exhibition – 4 pages, A3
  4. soon to be uploaded to Karolina’s blog – maps of answers to the city tours

Click the pictures to access the city tour maps and the poster exhibition (in Swedish). All map graphics are © OpenStreetMap contributors, and all maps and materials are therefore shared under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Copyright the Card Game v2.0 available for download

Last week we were delighted to launch Copyright the Card Game v2.0 at the CILIP Conference. We ran a taster workshop where delegates got to play an abridged version of the game and it was probably the largest group we have run a session for. With 6 teams of up to 8 or 9 people the room got pretty noisy but there was an outright winner in the end.

As with the previous version of the game, all the resources are available to download: a refreshed card deck, PowerPoint Slides for playing the game and instructions to clarify what people using it need to do. One of the key things we’ve addressed in the new version is the wording on some of the cards – to clarify areas that some found confusing, based on our experience of playing the game over the past couple of years. We have also created a new ‘exception’ card for Parody, Pastiche and Caricature and a new ‘licence’ card for software licences. We also did a lot of work on the design of the cards, including introducing a new colour palette and typographical layout for the cards and  the matching slides. We’re really grateful to everyone who gave us feedback on both the content and design. So if you have played v1.0 why not download our new set of resources and don’t forget to give us some feedback on what you think!

Presentations from the UUK / GuildHE Copyright Working Group summer event

Jane Secker writes – On 20th June we attended and helped organise the Universities UK / GuildHE Copyright Working Group Summer Event at Woburn House in London. The event was chaired by Professor Ronan Deazley from Queens University, Belfast and focused on the intersection between copyright exceptions and licences. The day included workshop activities which Chris and I facilitated along with Neil Sprunt from Manchester, Kate Vasili from Middlesex, Monique Ritchie from Brunel London and Ralph Weedon from Strathclyde (all members of the UUK / GuildHE team). The purpose of the day was to discuss a range of hot topics related to copyright in the higher education sector and try to see if a consensus could be reached about institutional practice and policies. It was sponsored by the CILIP Information Literacy Group.
We had around 45 delegates, the vast majority of whom were university copyright specialists, and the day opened with a keynote from Professor Deazley entitled Licences, Exceptions and General Confusion (click link to see the slides).
Topics for discussion in the morning workshop included a range of issues where copyright exceptions and licences come into play, particularly looking at what constitutes fair dealing in an educational context. Everyone worked really hard and we had some great discussions about how comfortable we felt about certain activities, and what different institutions felt was acceptable practice. The Group will soon be circulating a report of the morning’s event to the delegates.
Following lunch (and a quick fire copyright quiz to wake everyone up) we were joined In the afternoon by representatives from five external organisations (click links to see their presentations):

Following a lightning talk from each organisation, we held a number of world cafe style discussions to allow delegates to share their thoughts with the guests about what was working with regards to their organisation’s relationship with the sector, where improvements could be made and to raise any specific questions they had. We will be sharing notes from this session with delegates and the guests shortly.

Overall it was a really tiring day (copyright can be hard as Professor Deazley told us at the start of the day!) but feedback from delegates suggested that despite the warm weather and hard work they were expected to do, everyone got a lot out of the event.
Quite a number of us ended the day by attending the launch of the Copyright Cortex which is a new online resource dedicated to copyright and digital cultural heritage developed by Professor Deazley. The Cortex provide libraries, archives, museums and other memory institutions with information and expert commentary on how copyright law affects the creation and management of digital cultural heritage.
So thanks again to everyone who took part. 20th June really was a very successful day for copyright literacy.

Come play Copyright the Card Game at the CILIP Conference!

Copyright is an important subject for all librarians but one that often causes anxieties. This summer we’ve presented at three events where we asked librarians to tell us how they feel about copyright and the results are not that surprising. At one end of the scale we have librarians who feel nervous, scared, apprehensive and annoyed by copyright. A few librarians are exhilarated and empowered by copyright, but a large number of librarians are just confused and frustrated.

Some of the anxiety is related to the complexity of copyright law and fact the law is open to interpretation. Many institutions employ dedicated copyright officers to deal with specialist queries, and whilst we see the benefit in this we also recognise the drawbacks. Without adequate resources and planning it can lead to the knowledge to get trapped in a silo where all queries are dealt with by a copyright specialist alone. We believe it’s important that all librarians learn the basics of copyright to help them in their professional lives.

Next week we will be running a workshop at the CILIP Conference in Manchester on 5th July which will be a taster session based on Copyright the Card Game. The game has proved a valuable way of teaching librarians about copyright in an engaging and fun way. During this workshop participants will play an abridged version of the game, as well as get ideas about how to use the resource in their own teaching and professional development. Copyright does not need to be a subject to be afraid of. Through using the Card Game, and other playful and creative approaches to copyright education, we will provide participants with a framework for tackling copyright queries as well as a useful set of resources and further information.

We’re also looking forward to hearing Carla Hayden’s keynote at the CILIP Conference, catching up with colleagues, and attending some of the other parallel sessions. You can also find us on the CILIP Information Literacy Group (ILG) stand if you want to catch up, and ILG will be promoting the #FactsMatter campaign which is being jointly run by CILIP and the group. If you are coming to the conference next week we hope to see you!

Learning on Screen need your help!

Learning On Screen is the new name for the British Universities Film and Video Council (BUFVC). The e-CHARM project is a 6 month research project to better understand the needs of the education sector with regards to copyright and audiovisual material. The first phase of this research is a short survey, which should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. We would be grateful if as many librarians, learning technologists, teachers and lecturers could take the time to complete it.  The survey will help us understand the needs of the sector.
Understanding copyright and licensing is an important aspect of teaching and learning in the digital age. Librarians and teaching staff currently grapple to understand what they and their learners can do with digital content in an educational context. Copyright for audiovisual materials often involves several layers of rights, which increases the complexity The survey will be open until Monday 10th July and respondents have the option to enter a prize draw to win a £20 Amazon voucher.
We will also be looking for volunteers from across the higher and further education and schools sectors to join focus groups or take part in telephone interviews in early August. The survey gives you the option to leave your contact details if you are willing to take part in further research.
This research is being led by Lisa Jeskins, in conjunction with Chris Morrison and Jane Secker

Two new reviews of Copyright and E-learning and an award!

It has been almost a year to the day when our book was published and last week we delighted to see two more reviews of Copyright and E-learning: a guide for practitioners. The first by Adrienne Muir was published in Ariadne. Adrienne has written a really balanced review of the book, highlighting a few areas we need to address but finishing with the following rather nice tribute:

“Overall, this is an excellent book. I would certainly recommend it to anyone in higher education as both an introduction to copyright issues in e-learning, libraries and digital humanities, and as an authoritative source of advice. I hope that Facet will continue to publish updated editions.”

The second review was published by LSE Review of Books and written by Emily Stannard, who is a former university copyright officer and writer on this blog! Interestingly blog posts on LSE Review of Books are published under a CC-BY-NC-ND licence and so her review was also re-published on the San Francisco Review of Books (California here we come perhaps?). Emily has given a similarly fair assessment of the book, recognising that perhaps teachers and lecturers are less likely to read our book than librarians and teaching support staff, despite our best intentions.

Finally, the week ended up on a high note after starting with the CILIP Scotland conference in Dundee. On Thursday we found out we had been awarded No.33 in a ranking of the Top Copyright Blogs, which is a global listing and includes many prestigious blogs in the field. We are proudly displaying our badge on the blog and it’s spurred us on to ensure we do try and get a post out once a week. Thanks to all our followers, and don’t forget copyright literacy is a journey!

Copyright literacy as a journey

Last week we were delighted to keynote the CILIP Scotland conference held in Dundee. It was our first joint keynote and we had spent considerable time preparing our talk and slides, discussing what we wanted to say and the approach we wanted to take. Most talks about copyright are not noted for their entertainment value, but in the spirit of our creative approaches to education, Chris and I wanted to do something different. We like bringing in elements of interactivity to our talks and last week was no exception. We used the polling software Mentimeter to ask delegates about their feelings about copyright (see below), we held a quiz which resulted in Chris throwing chocolates around the room and of course we modeled our 2017 tour t-shirts, a parody of the Guns N’ Roses album ‘Appetite for Destruction’ (see above).

We’ve been on this journey towards copyright literacy now since 2014 when I first found out about the international survey of librarians started by Tania Todorova and I invited Chris to help me run it in the UK. We were intrigued at finding out how UK librarians would compare to others around the world. Since then we’ve carried out further research using phenomenography to investigate further the experiences of copyright in the professional lives of librarians. We each told the CILIPS conference delegates our personal journeys that led towards an interest in copyright literacy and we shared an insight from George Lucas, creator of one of our favourite films Star Wars. We also talked about the important privileges that librarians have and the impact that avoiding or being fearful of copyright can have on our sector.

Adapted from Alfred Leete’s Kitchener Wants You poster

‘Copyright literacy is a journey not a destination’ may be a cheesy phrase I came up with when writing the keynote with Chris (we’re thinking it might work on a fridge magnet). But what it really means is that addressing the challenge of copyright is not just about developing an extensive curriculum to ‘upskill’ librarians about copyright matters. For us, copyright literacy is more than just learning copyright facts – it’s a different and more critical approach that recognises there are no easy answers with copyright. You need a framework for tackling queries and a supportive community to share your experiences with. You also need to become comfortable with a level of uncertainty and the idea of taking risks. Librarians are not natural copyright ‘officers’ – they are educators rather than trainers (and if you were at CILIP Scotland you’ll remember my anecdote about the difference – if you weren’t ask me about it sometime!). But we reflected on what a world without copyright literacy looks like and the problem with fear and confusion. We ended with a rallying cry asking librarians to own copyright, as it belongs to us all and it is highly central to many of the big issues in our profession. We were delighted to see Nicola Osbourne live blogged our session, so provides a full report on the keynote and there were some great tweets from our session, a few of which we have included below:




So the next stop on the journey for us is the UUK/GuildHE Copyright Summer Event on 20 June, followed by the CILIP Conference in Manchester on 5 July at which we’ll be playing copyright the card game, but this time with some fresh new cards. Hopefully see you out there on the road somewhere and remember, may copyright literacy be with you always.