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Posts Tagged ‘copyright’

Creative Commons and Open Access Repositories

Posted by gazjjohnson on 22 March, 2011

I had an email conversation with Gabi and Terese in our BDRA Dept yesterday, as a result of their recent blog post Opening the ‘doar’ to Open Research Archives.  Their question was “I assume the LRA policies don’t preclude a depositing author from allocating a Creative Commons licence to the article

An interesting question, and while Gabi and Terese are perhaps more interested in OER’s than IRRs it was something that the Copyright Administrator and I discussed for a few minutes.  As a repository manager I have a slightly different viewpoint on the copyright situation to my colleague, given that open access as a whole operates in a somewhat gray and uncertain rights environment (my team endeavour to make it as risk free and safe as we possibly can though!)

There are a very few items on the LRA, a thesis springs to mind as the only absolutely clear example we’ve had to date, where the depositor has expressly requested a CC license on the item. Now with a thesis this is a little more clear-cut as the text remains the IPR/(c) of the author.  On the other hand for the post-review/author’s final copy of a book chapter or article while the general understanding is that the IPR is retained by the author, I’d personally be a little more reticent to deposit into the LRA with a CC license appended as a matter of course.

Not that I wouldn’t consider it at all, but it would probably be something I’d need to talk over with the author and potentially the publishing body as well to make sure that all appropriate rights had been observed.  Not to mention picking the brains of my fellow UKCoRR members to see if any of them have any clearer views on the subject.

Conference papers are a little easier as my current understanding  suggests that unless the organising body explicitly gains the economic rights for publishing (e.g. you actually sign something that gifts the rights to the organising body or a publisher) that all rights remain with the author.  In which case they’d be quite able to place an appropriate CC license on their work in my personal opinion – although we’d still take it slow for the first few of them that come along!

So the short answer is: No our policies don’t preclude CC, but we’d need to consider any requests carefully.

Happy to hear what my repository manager colleagues across the country have to say on the subject!

Posted in Copyright & Course Packs, Leicester Research Archive, Open Access | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

PackTracker – the future for CLA returns?

Posted by gazjjohnson on 4 February, 2011

Yesterday (Thursday) we had a demonstration of the Packtracker software from HERON.  We’re not members of HERON currently, but one thing we do do is a lot of digitisation of materials for online course packs (well over 2,500 items last academic year alone).  While most of this is under the CLA Digitisation Licenses, not all of it is and for much of it my Copyright & Coursepacks administrator does have to go back to the publishers or other rights holders directly for permission.

It’s a time-consuming task, not simply in the creation of the scans though that is a factor.  It’s time-consuming because we need to keep extensive records and documentation of everything scanned, whom it is for, number of students etc.  Now we’re not doing this simply for the good of our own health, oh no, we’re required to do it by the terms of the license.  We have to make an annual report back to the CLA on items used and all the myriad of details they need so that publishers can be paid the appropriate remuneration as agreed under the license.  It’s a task that certainly generates an awful lot of administrative burden, and as demand for this kind of provision increases (and it is continuing to increase across all our colleges) then two does the admin time.

Now to date we’ve kept very meticulous records on Excel.  It’s not ideal, but it is functional after a fashion.  What it isn’t is scalable really to the level at which we’re now operating.  We’d considered developing an inhouse access database, but without any available staff-time to do this that’s an idea that’s rather fallen by the wayside.  Then last year we started looking at the PackTracker software which by all accounts does all the record keeping and generation of returns to the CLA automatically.  Having seen it live over in Sheffield, we decided it would be best to have an in house demonstration.

PackTracker isn’t installed locally, it runs on a dedicated webserver space maintained by HERON.  It can take our Excel spreadsheets, and with a little bit of work, populate a dataset automatically which was very good news.  Certainly it can do all the things we were hoping it would, but what was my biggest surprise was what it can do over and above the simple records keeping mandate.  It can diarise a lot of activity, sending you warnings when tasks need to be completed and perhaps even more exultingly tie into service standards to make sure items are actioned within our predefined requirements (5 working days normally).  It can generate customisable coversheets for scanned PDFs, something that is an entirely manually driven process right now.  It can even send off requests to the British Library for copyright cleared materials.

I also quite liked opening up the records to other registered users, like our Information Librarians – allowing them to check directly what items were requested for modules in departments they support, and their current status.  This is something we currently have to check ourselves, so labyrinthine are our records to the untrained user!  I was also quite keen on the way it pulled down data from Amazon in part for copyright checking but also to enssure that bibliographic information was right as well.

Personally, I think it’s a good-looking products, and while I have a few niggles about certain aspects it’s something I certainly feel fairly favourable towards right now.  I’m not aware of any competing product out there, which perhaps explains the subscription cost for the system.  In any event my next step is to draft a more detailed evaluation report to go to our senior management team for their illumination and hopeful discussion.

Posted in Copyright & Course Packs | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

IPR Workshop

Posted by taniarowlett on 4 October, 2010

Last week I attended the Strategic Content Alliance (SCA) IPR workshop hosted by JISC.  The event was run exceptionally well by Naomi Korn and Sarah Fahmy and included overviews of the current progress of the Gowers review, the mounting case law surrounding the issue of privacy vs public interest and the remaining uncertainties relating to the future impact of the Digital Economy Bill. 

There was a great deal of discussion within the group throughout the day, but three main themes emerged:

  • the increasing emphasis on developing a business model to generate income from the rights we hold, whilst continuing to participate in the open access movement.  How can we best generate commercial income but still make our works open access?
  • the clear need for legislation on the use of orphan works.  Currently the decision to digitise and/or use works where there is no clear and contactable rights holder is determined by the level of risk associated with their use, and the decisions vary widely from person to person and institution to institution
  • the weighing up of benefit vs the cost of clearing obscure works.  Naomi made a good point in saying that the more obscure an item, the more cultural and educational interest it may hold.  However, for those of us involved in trying to clear rights for any use of these items it can be extremely time consuming, for perhaps little perceived gain.

With Universities and public bodies finding themselves having to justify their use of public funds, the question is whether we should be pursuing activities which provide us with maximum ‘internal’ educational use; making more of our creative output available to public; or be trying to use the unique resources we hold (specialised archive material, high profile academic research) to generate alternative forms of funding, and which is the most cost-effective?

Posted in Copyright & Course Packs | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

JISC Conference: April 13th 2010

Posted by gazjjohnson on 15 April, 2010

Round the corner from the conferenceThis Tuesday I travelled down to the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in a very sunny Westminster to attend the annual JISC Conference.  This event draws a lot of senior people from across the educational sector; and it’s possible to run into more than a few VCs over coffee.  It’s also a rich opportunity to hear from the broadest cross section of educational computing projects.  What follows are my notes

 The day was introduced by Malcolm Reed and Chair of JISC then JISC Chair Sir Timothy O’Shea. Spoke about current value as well as what the impact the UK election and reduced funding means we as a sector will be dealing with.  The next 10 years will be difficult as the environmental impact as well as funding will impact on HE computing.  He highlighted an article in the Guardian (14/Apr/2010) on HE, commenting that it complemented the lively pre-conference debate 150 people yesterday led by JISC Vice-Chair.  Suggested to go back and have one key thing to implement.

Martin Bean, VC OU: The Learning Journey: From Informal to Formal

A packed hall of listeners

An anarchist at heart who sought to spark discussions and possibly put a few backs up; with imitable Australian bravado.  Distance education is on fire – because you cannot build enough brick and mortar institutions to keep pace with growth in HE; and thus need to look at alternative delivery modes.  Distance learning is growth area, as cannot build enough brick and mortar HEIs.  But 1/3 HE students are in private institutions – going to see a growth in private organisations providing this kind of educational role.

 Challenges for the custodians – need to educate citizens for new kinds of work.  STEM is key for a competitive workforce for the next 10-50-100 years for innovation.  Need to think about transformation of information into meaningful knowledge.  John Naisbitt book Megatrends was mentioned.  Learning in the workplace needs to become essential, and supported by HEIs more.

 Modern students need constant stimulation and hate complexity (among other aspects of their  desires) but does this mean we need to dumb down our degrees, or shouldn’t we adapt to the modern student expectations?  Is there nothing to be said for a proper old fashioned solid and complex education, I wondered  – where does that take us in terms of teaching critical thinking?

 What can be done to break down the barriers?  Multichannel.  YouTube and iTunes university – 342,000 downloads a week for the OU – in the top 10 in U channel; and most of that traffic comes from outside the UK, pay off is that many of their new students first encounter the OU in this way and are drawn in by the brand.  Informal learning, more cooperative environment and need for flexibility for educational institutions.  LLL need the ability to move in and out of HE formally and informally.  Comments that the D.E. Act is going to seriously interfere with this ability to evolve and use new patterns of education, research and training.

Living with IPR – the web, the law and academic practise

View out the window at lunchCharles Oppenheim opened with a passionate and scholarly dismantling of the appallingly poorly debated and rushed through Digital Economy Bill (now Act).  Then Jason Miles-Campbell (his sporran is a wifi hot spot allegedly) from JISC Legal spoke.  In the next five years there is unlikely to be changes to copyright protected items, you need to find an exemption. Gave an overview of the small changes in the law and clarifications under law for reuse of items.  Digital Economy act – what’s going to happen to institutions – some time to go to see if we are subscribers or ISPs as there will need to be case law.  Note that D.E. Act calls for a graduated response to infringement.  Talked about the Newsbin vs big media companies case.  Newsbin was indexing infringing material – in court case they were found to be infringing.  Court noted what we need to do to have an exemption for such a thing; Newsbin was effectively authorising infringement – encouraged copyright infringement by employing editors.  11 words effective of being substantial.  No good making a large amount of material available to staff, if they’re unsure if they can legally use it.  Patchwork licenses are a problem – different aspects of resources covered by different legislation.  May mean we need to ditch some resources that we won’t be able to use.  Need to make life easy, but we also need to be able to take risk decisions – e.g. like driving – there are times when 32mph in a 30 zone can be okay, but you have to make the judgement call.

Naomi Korn and Emma Beer, Copyright Consultants spoke next about orphan works- those where author is unknown or untraceable – they are significant barrier to public access, due to length of implicit copyright.  The internet is a major source of orphan works.  Items hundreds of years old can still be in © until end of 2039!  In a project 302 staff hours were spent to give only 8 permissions received for use in the British Library sound archive – massive staff effort to little effective impact.  EU Mile Project -registry of Image Orphan Works.  EU ARROW Project – accessible registries of rights information and orphan works.  One thing is clear dealing with orphan works even for major bodies and projects requires a lot of work and staff time, something that those of working in open access can be aware of.  In D.E. Bill Clause 43 tried to offer an exemption.  The D.E. Act means that for now you should only use orphan works within a risk management framework, as not clear quite what the impact of this will be.

Project OOER – best name of the day? #jisc10 Organising Open Educational Resources.  Barriers for sharing different levels of IPR awareness, licensing awareness etc.

 Open Access Session, Neil Jacobs (Chair)

Talked about the report authored by Charles Oppenheim et al late last year.  Moves to electronic only can help reduce costs in the scholarly communications sector.  Alma Swann gave an overview of the work looking at three models of repos gold, green, and role of repos as locations of quality assurance and publication – described by Alma as more futuristic.  Libraries do things differently, and this affected the model that they created.   Though unis increase in size the benefits don’t necessarily.  The Salford VC and Librarian of Imperial College spoke about how they’ve gone about making a strong case for open access, fiscally, at their institutions.

Community Collections and the power of the crowd, Catherine Grout

In a fascinating session looking at crowdsourcing and citizen science we heard from Kate Lindsay (Oxford, WWI Poetry Digital Archive) Arfon Smith (Oxford, Galaxy Zoo), William Perrin (Web innovator and Community Activist) and Katherine Campbell (BBC, History of the World) about 4 very different areas of community engagement.  From sourcing and augmenting first world war artefacts from across the country (including a roadshow – turn up and digitise!), though the power of Galaxy Zoo’s galactic classification project – which I’m proud to say I’m one of the thousands involved in.  What was clear from these two talks is the scale of what is achievable is amplified many, many times beyond what can be achieved through using more conventional team based approaches, and that the successes far outweigh the concerns over quality (indeed the “normalisation” of so many repeated analyses ala Wikipedia was touched on).

 William took a different approach building up a resource from the ground up, and using it as a focus for drawing a community together physically as well as virtually.  He showed some excellent examples of what you can do when a community develops a local Web resource rather than just one activist (I am reminded of the local Sileby village Website for an example of how NOT to approach this – locked down and run by a small clique).

For the twitter over view see here, here and here

Posted in Staff training, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies, Wider profession | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

JISC Legal Copyright Day March 31st 2010

Posted by gazjjohnson on 12 April, 2010

On the last day before Easter I escaped from the office to head to a rather chilly University of Sheffield to attend a JISCLegal Copyright event. As neither of my copyright officers were available to attend, hoped I’d glean some much needed insight into the latest developments in copyright legislation and practice. What follows are my notes from the event with a few comments where appropriate

Digital Images, John Hargreaves, JISC Digital Media
Formerly the organisation was known as TASI. It is based at the University of Bristol. John gave an overview of their role and services; highlighting their new two weekly online surgery which is open to all. Opened with a note on the relative impenetrability of copyright law (which in the light of the last session of day I can heartily concur with)– however, in this session he aimed to demystify aspects of image © law.

Despite what many people assume just because an image is on the internet doesn’t mean you can use it. Since all images are inherently copyrighted, normally to the creator, there is always a rights issue unless the creator/rights owner has clearly waived it – and indeed even then there might be some constraints.

He highlighted the vast growth in digital images, more user generated content, more sharing, ease of access and proliferation of web 2 services like Flickr and Google Images; services that allow dissemination. Traditional legislation is unclear in a digital context, and also laws are constantly changing and tightening. The suggestion today is that balance of rights lies with the rights holders not public access; something that seems to fly in the face of the open access agenda. Copyright in images will change on formats, something that isn’t born digital might have several different rights holders (original photographer, owner of a photo in a gallery, digitiser etc). The length of time that these rights remain as well for each format can differ.

While rights stay with the rights holder normally, if you create something while contracted to work for an organisation the user might not hold the rights. One line that I liked from John was that copyright exemptions aren’t rights to use, they are defences if you are challenged over your use.

So to avoid some of these problems then you should make use of trusted resources, such as JISC Image collections [LINK]. Commercial sites exist as well, although there might well be per-use or subscription fees to pay. Some sites deal with copyright exempt issues like stock.xchng for example. Also mentioned Flickr and advanced creative commons search for images for re-use. However, some people may well mount images in which they don’t own the copyright – assume the owner doesn’t understand copyright. Look through their images and see if the images in a users collections have the same look and feel, a good guide to seeing if they are the creator of them.

If you want to use images draw up your own license, or at least a clear description of how you would like it to work and the uses to which you will put the images. Even if you don’t directly use it with the rights holder it will help form part of your audit trail documentation, and will clarify discussions. You should consider the various possible rights within an image e.g. moral rights, data protection, expired rights due to age and clear statements of ownership. Joint ownership can be an issue where you need to clear the rights with more than one location. Web2rights.org.uk  has sample copyright permission letters that you can use.

Think for anything you or your users create to check that permissions to include images are covered. Consider how long a period of time permission is for (forever for a printed document, or a period of time for a web site for example). You also need to think of any related rights that might need to be cleared up at the same time. Is it appearing on the web and will you archive them or the document in some way. What do you expect the users of your object to be able to do with the images? Indeed if you have these issues clear in your head you are making it much easier for the rights holder to grant clear permissions. And all of this must be clearly documented – permissions, what you can/can’t do, who can use it, what can be done with it, what time limits that exist and the context of use of the object.

Creating image metadata to associate with the image and your use of it can be valuable. It allows you to attach the rights and permissions to the object so it can be passed to other people with these usage restrictions clearly accessible. Finally John talked about importance of asking for size/resolution of an image and how this will impact on where you can use it effectively. Print and screen have different requirements, and if you want high resolution images you are unlikely to find them on free sites – likelihood there will be fees to pay.

Music Copyright, Beverley Dodd, Birmingham City University
Fundamentals of music 1) copyright© is traditional copyright for music, lyrics, artwork etc well established. 2) (p) and this applies to the sound recording itself – p = phonographic. Different copyright laws apply to music around the world. E.g. in the UK the life+70 year rule applies, but there are changes planned. The exemptions are very limited for music copyright. For examination purposes students can perform any music behind closed doors, but photocopying of music is not allowed. Noted that now music in shops has to have a license paid for it; so does that mean more musak?

The power shift in the digital age is towards to rights holder, the major corporations, extending (p) on sound recordings from 50 to 95 years; which is a pretty horrific approach. But this has come because the record companies own the recordings but not the original songs, which remain the ownership of the artist.

CLA licenses do not cover printed music, including the words. Some music cannot be purchased, it can only be hired from publishers. The PRS for Music (Performing Right Society) is the main collecting society in Britain – for live performed music must be declared to them and be licensed, even if given for free or charity. Even more true for music used to communicate to the public in the digital media. License charges vary depending on size and type of performance. Note in the US there are some exemptions for some public places e.g. Bars and Grills.

There was a suggestion of using the old postal method of protecting copyright, a sealed envelope with composition inside date stamped, for musicians to record their rights; which seemed horribly antiquated.

The PRS are very litigious and have even challenged people who work to music on their own, or in private or to horses. Note that YouTube and PRS had a spat in 2009 which saw all premium UK music videos dropped from the site for a period. Noted that some police constabulary (e.g. Wiltshire) refuse to pay the PRS fees and claim an exemption. Even a singing granny in Scotland was slapped with £1000 fee, although they backed down after a slew of negative publicity. The key here is they will pursue just about anyone they consider requires a license. There is a code of practice for University’s available from the PRS.

At BCU they have a conservatoire, and so music copyright and reuse rights are very important to them. Future music © trends as noted are tightening up and locking down. Noted wifi and the Digital Economies Bill means that universities will be required to police and cut access to any illegal use as defined by the UK’s restrictive copyright laws.

eTheses at the University of Sheffield: a case study, Clare Scott
Ethos kicked off by aiming to digitize 5000 high use theses across the country, with 500 supplied from Sheffield. Not all of these were digitized due to issues at the BL. EthOS soft launched 2008. At Sheffield works in a very similar manner to Leicester, including a period of embargo allowed for. Mandated deposit to all students registered from 2008. 3 faculties broadly in support, 2 have particular issues, and 1 is strongly opposed. Issues that have come up included:

  • Prior publication concerns
  • Book publication
  • 3rd party copyright and finding permissions
  • Plagiarism.

In practise hard copy submission will continue for 5 years (2013) and will be reviewed at that point. So far on a day to day basis it hasn’t been a massive change.

Benefits to students include readability and accessibility on a global scale. Hopefully this means their impact will be more immediate and that (eventually) download statistics will be visible. It also offers a taste of self-marketing and promotion for the student. Has helped students when they come to publish as they are seeking copyright permissions earlier that they would otherwise struggle to obtain. Embargo reasons are much the same as ours, including political sensitivity. All theses have to be uploaded, even those embargoed as they can go into the dark archive and not be made visible – but it does mean that an electronic version is available. Problems with commercial exploitation of material when a commercial company took every one of the medical depts, so need to make sure any license doesn’t allow for this to avoid conflicts with academic’s later work.

Sheffield are paying £8,000 a year towards the £40 per theses digitisation fee. Pay up front model is causing problems and concerns from students who expect university will pay. They don’t ask author permission, and in terms of older materials don’t worry about copyright and other issues – reliance on takedown policy. Librarians get asked to download and add to stock, but permission for this is not given. Result is a lot of questions remain, like changing to asking author permissions, or desire from alumni to see theses live. The problem of rising third party copyright questions will continue to rise, and if the training is sufficient to equip the students with the skills to deal with the issues.

Copyright & the cultural sector, Tim Padfield
Developments in copyright law – in policy terms copyright is most important IPO legislation, over patents which actually brings in more money. Libraries and archives are regarded as trusted intermediaries, between rights owners and users, which means it should make things easier for us to seek permissions. A contract can override copyright, and this can be a problem.

Digital Economy Bill Orphan works – Anyone can become an authorised body to license orphaned works, via application to secretary of state. However, every work must be investigated before it can become an orphaned work and so doesn’t really help facilitate mass digitisation.

Exemptions including reprographic copying to cover films and audio, to allow external access to VLEs. Exemptions don’t apply if there’s a licensing scheme in active. Notable that just because an organisation does education, does not mean it is classed as an educational establishment for the purposes of the exemption. Fair dealing is designed to expand to all forms of media beyond text; but only to work carried out by students or staff at a prescribed educational establishment (for private study or research).

Undefined terms and concepts, Tanya Alpin
The final session of the day was rather a disappointment, as it was delivered at an expert academic practitioner level and as such was all but incomprehensible to me.  While doubtless there were some in the room who could follow the legalese, considering the accessibility of the rest of the day’s sessions this was a shame. The one piece of advice I did manage to glean was on the role of originality – the less original a work is, the easier it is to reuse fairly.

Posted in Copyright & Course Packs, Staff training, Wider profession | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Digital signatures and document supply – investigation continues

Posted by gazjjohnson on 19 January, 2010

Following on from this earlier post, I’ve had a couple of very useful interchanges with Anne Bell (Cardiff) and Graham Titley (Portsmouth) on this subject.  I was pointed in their direction and some other folks by quite a few of my followers on twitter – so thanks Mairie, Georgeina, Sarah, Damyanti and all the rest.  I’m waiting on a few other people I’ve contacted, not to mention those on a distribution list, to come back to me as well. 

hopefully this should give me a broad idea of the state of the art in the UK right now.  I’m editing together everything I’ve learned so far into a review document, distilling the experiences I encounter and raising the questions that we need to answer for ourselves before we can move in this direction for definite.  But since others have already gone down this path I’m hoping the only challenges we face are operational and technical, and not legal.

We’ll be having a meeting next week at which we’ll be discussing the initial thoughts and next steps, and at which point doubtless I’ll have more to report back on.

[Edit Tue evening: Thanks to Peter Suber for pointing out that Charle’s site has now evolved in to the Bibliography of Open Access Wiki.  The old site still contains some bookend material but is now static.]

Posted in Document Supply | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Digital signatures and document supply – an investigation

Posted by gazjjohnson on 13 January, 2010

Like most universities we operate a document supply service.  For articles from journals we’re required by copyright law to collect a signed form for each and every request from our customers; in our case a print off of a webpage.  This isn’t an ideal situation since it means there’s generally a day between a request being placed and the signed form reaching my team – at which point we can place the request with the British Library.

So we’d like to explore moving to use digital signatures in some way.  I’ve started making some initial enquiries with some contacts around the country, but thought it was probably worth blogging about it too.  I suppose my questions at the moment are:

  • What is the validity of digital signatures under law?
  • Are there any kinds/types of digital signatures that aren’t acceptable?
  • What is the best/most effective approach to take?
  • What are the potential pitfalls and challenges (technological or otherwise?)
  • How was it finally implemented/introduced to the community – for everyone or just those who wished it?

I know Cardiff and Plymouth at least are certainly at various stages of implementing this and so I’ve dropped a line to both of them; but whom else is heading down this path and what wisdom can they share?

Posted in Document Supply | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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