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 return to Scotland

We are heading up to Dundee on Sunday for the CILIP Scotland conference (#CILIPS17) as the Copyright Literacy tour continues this summer. The theme of the conference is Strategies for Success and out talk is entitled ‘The Road to Copyright Literacy: a journey towards library empowerment.’ Chris was in Scotland last year for the National Acquisitions Group conference where he ran two sessions to showcase Copyright the Card Game, so it’s a return trip and our first real opportunity to give a joint keynote.

Photo by James Bennett used with permission

We were inspired by Donna Lanclos and Dave White’s joint keynote last year at ALT-C, which was an entertaining, partly ad-libbed conversation. For anyone who might have overheard a conversation between Chris and me, they can be rather long and rambling, and a little circular. But we hope that with the creation of some beautiful slides and a 45 minute time limit, we can say something valuable. I don’t wish to spoil it for those attending, but we plan to share some stories about how we got into copyright, talk about the ideas behind critical copyright literacy and why it matters. We also want to encourage the library profession to be bolder, less hesitant about copyright and to feel like it belongs to them. There will also be one or two surprises along the way, as we are big fans of making our sessions interactive and fun. We don’t think safety goggles will be needed this time, but anything is possible!

If you’re coming to Dundee, then we look forward to seeing you there. The conference has a great programme with three other keynotes, from Miguel Figueroa, Val McDermid and Nick Poole and some great parallel sessions. If not you can follow the fun on Twitter. There will also be an opportunity to catch us at the main CILIP conference in Manchester in July, where we’re running an abridged version of the card game.

An update on the ARFIS study

Last year we were involved in distributing the Academic Reading Format International Survey (ARFIS) in the UK, which was completed by students around the UK. The final report was published in LSE Research Online. While it’s not directly related to copyright, the study is of interest given how much work and money has been invested in preparing readings in digital format for students. The findings across the world show that students in general still prefer print to electronic for academic reading. Diane Mizrachi, from UCLA, the founder of the survey has sent a short update on the work she, and other members of the international team have been undertaking and is planning a panel discussion at ECIL in St Malo, France in September.

The ARFIS team now includes researchers from 36 different countries on six continents.  Two country studies (South Africa and Hong Kong) are still underway. Several of the team met informally at the European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL) last October and outlined ideas for disseminating our research to larger and more diverse audiences. In March 2017, several authors submitted a report to Science but they deemed it out of their journal scope and recommended publishing in a more specialized journal.  They have expanded and reworked the manuscript to include comparative analysis from 21 countries and citations from ARFIS country studies published by our team members. Last week it was submitted to journal, The Internet in Higher Education, whose readership focuses on educators and educational researchers, and we are awaiting their decision.

In March Diane presented a poster on our work at the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) conference in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (pictured). Librarians were very appreciative and encouraging. They kept telling her ‘We KNOW this! The students keep telling us this! Thank you for documenting their attitudes and please continue.” Last month she was the guest of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar where she spoke to about 80 librarians, educators, and administrators about the study. There were many questions, a lively discussion followed, and an English language news publication picked up on it.  And just last week Diane spoke with a senior scientist at Google about ARFIS. He had heard about it from a mutual acquaintance and wanted to know more. She shared with him the survey instrument and some of the findings.

If you wish to find out more details then ARFIS also now has a webpage and the team page shows some members of the international team. Diane can be contacted at:

Diane Mizrachi, Ph.D.
Social Sciences and Undergraduate Instruction Librarian
Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA

Confused and frustrated about copyright in Wales

I was delighted to attend the CILIP Cymru Wales 2017 conference last week after being invited to give a keynote entitled Copyright,  Education and Librarians: privileges and rights. It was largely a report on the phenomengraphic research Chris and I have been doing about how copyright is experienced by librarians. I spent the journey to Wales analysing the data we collected from the CILIP Copyright Conference on 87 paper aeroplanes which were thrown at us last month. So I arrived with my head full of the torment, frustration and anxiety that copyright seems to cause many librarians. Llandudno was a great antidote though, as it’s a lovely laid back Victorian seaside town, with a beautiful sea front which the conference venue (and my hotel) overlooked.

During my session I also experimented using polling software, I had created a poll using both Poll Everywhere and Mentimeter, the free software, to be sure it would work. I asked the audience to tell me how copyright made them feel and the results are below and fairly similar to the data we’ve collected to date. Copyright is a source of confusion and frustration. There are some positive emotions in there as well, but being scared, intimidated,challenged, unsure, wary, vulnerable were all words that people used and match the first category in our research findings: that copyright is a problem and largely avoided.

The conference tackled several other really key legal issues for libraries, included data protection on day one (sadly I wasn’t there for David Teague’s talk) and privacy, which was the topic of Paul Pedley’s talk on day two, and is the subject of his doctoral research he started just a few months ago at City, University of London. Paul is well known for his books on copyright, and the training he offers on this and on data protection, but privacy issues are increasingly important for libraries. It was a fantastic, friendly conference and great to meet some really enthusiastic Welsh librarians. I was particularly excited to hear about the librarians from Bangor who plan to translate Copyright the Card Game into Welsh and we hope to return to Wales to run a session for them later this year.

 

 

Embedding copyright literacy: reflections on not being a copyright advisor

I’ll be heading to Llandudno in North Wales on Thursday to give a keynote at CILIP Wales on Friday morning. Chris will be sitting an exam on the same day for his PGDip in copyright law at King’s College London. I’ll be sending him lots of positive vibes and the talk will be drawing on our recent research into librarians’ experience of copyright. We spoke about this research at the CILIP copyright conference and at LILAC last month and it’s been great to share our findings with different audiences. The keynote on Friday is going to be about copyright and education and the role of librarians, thinking about their own knowledge about copyright and what they teach others about it. But the central message is about tackling librarians’ anxieties surrounding copyright that lead then to avoid it, or act in very cautious ways.

Since our last talk I started my new job at City, University of London as Senior Lecturer in Educational Development so I have been feeling out my comfort zone a fair bit recently, as each day brings something new, from attending exam boards to marking student work. I thought it would be useful to share a few thoughts on my reflections after 3 weeks of not being a copyright advisor. However, in fact in many ways despite all the differences, some things haven’t really changed and in the last few weeks I believe even more in embedding copyright education into an institution and teaching about copyright as part of digital and information literacy. I’ve been surprised to find although my job title has changed I am drawing on all my knowledge and experience of being a copyright advisor almost every day.

I’m now teaching on an MA in Academic Practice and my students are in the main lecturers at City in the School of Arts and Social Sciences. I have some lovely departments including Psychology, Music and Journalism. However, I also share my office with the Educational Technologies team. I probably shouldn’t have been surprised at the number of times copyright has come up in round about ways! In the last few weeks I’ve discussed:

  • Lecture recording policies and how staff feel about students recording them (sometimes without their permission) and their rights as a performer;
  • The inclusion of third party content in recorded lectures and whether to pause or edit recordings or whether to rely on copyright exceptions;
  • Uploading content to the VLE and ensuring you have permission for resources;
  • Teaching students on a journalism course about copyright, ethics and the use of data from social media;
  • Encouraging open practice and sharing resources across the team (and licensing your own materials under Creative Commons).

A few years ago I said that the way to teach copyright was a bit like feeding vegetables to children, mash it up really small and disguise it! However for someone who is tasked with being the copyright advisor I can see that job title might be a barrier to being invited into a conversation about teaching. I’m not sure yet what the answer is, but rather like information literacy, I think the key is to embed copyright into teacher training. And probably to stop calling it copyright, but think about what teachers are trying to do, which is to share knowledge. Sharing knowledge and resources is probably one of the most common things teachers and learners do however you won’t find it referenced in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act. But talking about sharing is a great way of having a conversation about openness, ownership, authorship, giving credit, contracts and permission. All these things are parts of copyright literacy but from a teacher’s perspective when someone says let’s learn about copyright I suspect their heart sinks. I’m going to endeavour not to mention copyright in my new job every day, but if the past few weeks are anything to go by I can see copyright and open practice are important issue dominating many current discussions in higher education, about teaching, learning and research.

Copyright or Wrong on BBC Radio 4

On World IP day, there are loads of resources out to help teach people about copyright,  but finding really accessible resources that you can use in copyright education is not always easy. Last week’s Radio 4 programme Copyright or Wrong by Richard Taylor the copyright lawyer and author is an ideal introduction to copyright for any audience. The programme asks whether copyright is an analogue law in the digital age and is a gallop through a whole raft of really key issues, with interviews with many leading experts in the field.

He gives an overview of copyright history, from the Statute of Anne through to modern case law with examples from music and movies. Richard Taylor interviews the MEP Julia Reda from the Pirate Party as well as Dr Eleanora Rosati and many others.

Of course if you want to explore the issues related to copyright and e-learning you might also want to listen again to the podcast Conversing about copyright we made a year or so ago with James Clay. Happy World IP day!

UK Copyright Literacy goes Stateside

I’ve been lucky enough to spend a week in the US, attending and presenting at the ACRL conference which is the Association of College and Research Libraries, and a part of the American Library Association. I was primarily here to present on information literacy, but decided to submit a lightning talk proposal on our research into librarians’ experiences of copyright. It’s 20 slides in 5 minutes so a real whizz through all the work we’ve been doing. But great to share the copyright literacy work with a new audience. And this is also exciting because a librarian in the US, Paul Bond, has been working on adapting Copyright the Card Game for US Law and I am hoping to meet him later today. Anyway my slides are available and in honour of the trip, the UK Copyright Literacy logo has got a new look for the week!

New CREATe working paper and copyright education symposium resources

‘Copyright Education’ – Original illustration by Davide Bonazzi for CopyrightUser.org

‘Copyright Education’ – Original illustration by Davide Bonazzi for CopyrightUser.org

We were delighted to be approached by CREATe a few months ago about publishing our report ‘Lecture recording in higher education: risky business or evolving open practice’ as one of their working papers. I’m very pleased to say that this is now available on the CREATe website. I’m also looking forward to speaking about the research at the OER17 conference in a few weeks time.

In addition to this CREATe have created a page of resources from last year’s Copyright Education Symposium (including Chris’s report of the day) which is now online. Chris spoke on a panel at the event, and I acted as a rapporteur for one of the discussion groups. They have a short survey out for those who attended or might be interested in this topic, to help them plan the next Copyright Education Symposium. It’s great that this could become a regular event.

Finally we’ve just started some further research into the provision of dedicated copyright support in educational and cultural institutions, so hope to add to the evidence base later in the year. We’re working with Philippa Hatch from Imperial College and hope to be launching our survey in the next few days – watch this space!

Image manipulation and avoiding copyright infringement: a useful resource

Follio image

Infographic created by Follio.com and reproduced with permission

We’ve recently found a useful Infographic from Follio who run a website, primarily selling art works. However they have produced a handy (and attractive) infographic on image manipulation and how to avoid copyright infringement. It focuses on US law but does also include some details about UK law. It also considers the tricky issues of what ‘originality’ and ‘substantial use’ are whilst providing some handy visual cues as to what these look like in practice.

In order for a work to be protected by copyright it must be ‘original’, however this doesn’t mean that it has be entirely novel. This means two images that look quite similar can be two independent original copyright works. Similarly copyright infringement only occurs when someone uses a ‘substantial’ part of someone else’s work without permission. However we all know that we are inspired by the work of others – that’s how art and culture works.

So the question of what is original is really key and when we use works of art, knowing what is substantial is very different to when we might quote an extract from a book or journal article. You can see the infographic in it’s full glory on the Follio website. We would also recommend checking out the copyrightuser.org advice for visual artists which answers questions directly from the creative community in a clear and engaging way.

Copyright, the future and Brexit

iCopyright exceptions: the jigsawWe’ve now been to two recent events on the future of copyright in the UK following our exit from the European Union. Whatever your views on Brexit, and like many in HE we were firmly in the remain camp, we can’t deny it will happen. However in recent years much of UK copyright legislation has been amended following directives from the European Union. And there are important new changes going through the European Parliament currently on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. On 12 January 2017, the Commission’s proposal was debated by the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) And just today EIFL issued a statement on the need for copyright reform across Europe, supporting the statement issued by five key organisations (including LIBER, and the European Universities Association) on ‘Future-proofing European Research Excellence‘. This statement similarly calls for more change to copyright to give Europe a real opportunity to become a global leader in data-driven innovation and research.

So what does the future hold for copyright in the UK? In October last year I was interested to read this blog post from Professor Alison Harcourt of Exeter University. However, we thought we would share a few thoughts from recent events. Firstly in October last year we attended a meeting at the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to discuss the copyright implications of Brexit on the higher education sector. Then earlier this week a conference organised by the Journal of Intellectual Property, Law and Practice (JIPLP). Both events were an opportunity to understand more about how important copyright and IP are particularly in the context of international trade but also the increasingly global education offered by the UK. In both meetings all agreed that following Brexit the UK would not have the same relationship with the Court of Justice of the EU, but no one was clear if decisions of this court might be taken into account by English judges. There were references here to important cases on issues such as whether hyperlinking is copyright infringement (see Svensson, BestWaterGS Media and a helpful table of the implications by Dr Eleonora Rosati here) or the provision of content on dedicated terminals in libraries (see TU Darmstadt v Eugen Ulmer KG). If you are interested in reading more and keeping up to date with copyright and intellectual property issues, the IP Kat blog is a good source of information and commentary.

However what is clear is that not only does Brexit mean Brexit (and of course we all know exactly what that means) it also means we are unlikely to get a new copyright act in the UK any time soon. This is despite the view of Sir Richard Arnold, British High Court of Justice judge, that we are much in need of one. On Monday he gave us eight reasons why the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended and revised) was long overdue a major overhaul, technology being his first reason and Brexit being the last. This last reason was a recent addition – for the original list of seven reasons see his Herchel Smith IP lecture from 2014. However he concluded by saying that copyright is unlikely to be a priority for parliament over the next few years.

So in these dark, rather depressing January days is there any light on the horizon? The IPO suggested Brexit might be an opportunity to rethink copyright and make it fit for the UK. The lobbying work of organisations such as EIFL and Communia are hoping to convince Brussels that reforming copyright to support education and research is vital. We would like to think that those within the research and education world might be able to play a significant role in shaping the future of copyright in the UK. But it remains to be seen….