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Library photoRecently Andy Horton (Deputy Library Manager here at Regent’s University) did another excellent Tricks of the Trade session on e-learning and copyright. Here are James Leahy’s brief notes on the session:

 Intellectual Property Rights in 2013

 New laws intended to protect against torrenting websites (bulk downloads of illegally copied media files) now mean that “shifting formats” can mean extracting any files from one source and converting them to another is illegal e.g. importing song files from a CD into a virtual library (such as iTunes).

  • Copyright is automatic in law. There is nothing active required on the part of the creator to achieve it.
  • It is however impossible to copyright an idea; a fact; a number; a name; or a slogan (except under certain trade laws).
  • Anything you produce in the course of your employment is automatically owned by your employer.

Drawing information largely from the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and the Digital Economy Act 2010 Andy introduced us to the Intellectual Property Office and the Copyright Licensing Agency and the concept of moral rights, particularly the most common offense being secondary infringement (which is chiefly perpetrated by users of media sharing sites such as YouTube where people frequently recreate links and embed in websites without checking if the poster of the materials has the rights to have done so in the first place). Always acknowledge authorship, this is good practice.

 Copyright on media generally lasts 70 years from the death of the creator(s), which is the case with motion pictures, where 70 years must have elapsed from the deaths of all director(s), author(s) of screenplay and composer(s) of score. In this way copyright can be held by more than one person/party.

Orphan works can be defined as a piece of work where you cannot identify the person who created a work, most typically photographs. Images carry unseen metadata and the rights holders can search for unauthorised use.

 “Fair use” can be invoked for shifting format for student accessibility purposes and would be covered by an institution’s CLA (Copyright Licensing Agency) license.

 Blackboard content is covered by our CLA license when making content available to a controlled number of people and when covered by our Enterprise License Agreement it is possible to obtain a copyright fee paid copy from the British Library of journal articles an institution doesn’t have.

 A “Reporting Your Scanning” form is available on Blackboard from the homepage of the intranet: http://tinyurl.com/rccopying

 Educational Recording Agency Plus License will cover an institution for the majority of TV recordings.

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