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….

Have yourselves a Merry Christmas!

uk-copyright-lit-santaThis is going to be the last post for 2016 as we wind up for the year. I hope this year has been kind to you. It’s certainly been a year of highs and lows politically. Who knows what impact Brexit might have on the UK’s copyright and IP framework? It still seems a strange irony to have attended the CREATe festival on the day the referendum results came out, and we’ll never forget the emotional reaction of the great and the good from the copyright world. No-one was suggesting that the European copyright regime was perfect or that there weren’t real tensions between various groups. However the result created major uncertainty not just for project of harmonisation itself, but also the friends and colleagues from throughout Europe and the rest of the world who have contributed so much to an environment where information and knowledge can be created and disseminated on a sustainable basis.

However, despite these challenges, in the world of copyright education you have to keep ploughing on. Our study of librarians’ experiences of copyright continues to be illuminating and reassuring, as are the reactions from colleagues who understand the importance of copyright to the information and education worlds and continue to find new ways to spread the word. But the day to day reality in higher education is still one where copyright is an after thought and many copyright officers feel that they are being asked to take responsibility for the actions of others. Let’s hope if we continue to make enough noise about it, that might start to change. And we have been making plenty of noise on a whirlwind tour of conferences and events from Glasgow, Dublin, London and Coventry to Prague. Lecture recording and copyright even saw us feature in the Times Higher a few weeks back

So we end the year on an optimistic note and a happy one after the lovely review of Copyright and E-learning by Andy Horton featured yesterday on the ALT blog. We also celebrated with a copyright games party yesterday at University of Kent. Have a lovely break and may copyright literacy continue to flourish and grow in 2017!

Lecture capture: risky business or evolving open practice?

It’s been a busy end to the year, with Chris presenting at the Learning On Screen AGM on 2dn December and then us both presenting yesterday at the final Heron User Group meeting on the lecture recording survey we recently carried out. The slides are available Lecture recording surveybut we were delighted to also be featured last week in the Times Higher Education Supplement, where they ran a short story on how universities are uncertain about lecture recording copyright issues. I’m not sure I would agree that universities are uncertain, but lecture recording certainly raises a lot of copyright and IPR issues, which do need to be resolved and the guidance that is provided to staff needs to be timely, clear and supportive. We hope to be able to work with other copyright officers to develop some good practice over issues such as the inclusion of images, and short video clips in recorded lectures. That guidance needs to be practical when it comes to interpreting the law and the copyright exception, Illustration for Instruction. It was useful to have our colleagues from CLA hear the presentation yesterday and we look forward to discussing this with them further in the new year.

Two reviews of Copyright and E-learning

book-launch-authorsWe were delighted to see two reviews of Copyright and E-learning published this week in the open access peer reviewed, Journal of Information Literacy and on the prestigious IP Kat blog. Both reviewers were complimentary about the book, so thanks to Andrew Eynon who wrote the JIL review, however I’m not sure we will live down being referred to as the Sonny and Cher of UK copyright as per Andrew Grey’s review on the IP Kat blog. The book continues to sell well but we have both been delighted with the nice comments we have had from colleagues and fellow copyright officers who have told us how useful the book is. If you haven’t bought your copy then we have a discounted flyer available and don’t forget you can read Chapter Six on copyright education on open access. Enjoy December, we have a couple more events before the end of the year including a visit to Canterbury Christchurch on the 13th December.