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Posts Tagged ‘march’

LRA – Most accessed items March 2012

Posted by gazjjohnson on 2 April, 2012

As usual here are the most popular items on LRA last month.

  1. Financial Development, Economic Growth and Stock Market Volatility: Evidence from Nigeria and South Africa (Ndako, Umar Bida)
  2. The propagation of VHF and UHF radio waves over sea paths (Sim, Chow Yen Desmond)
  3. Social inclusion, the museum and the dynamics of sectoral change (Sandell, Richard)
  4. Writing up and presenting qualitative research in family planning and reproductive health care (Pitchforth, Emma et al)
  5. Facebook, social integration and informal learning at university: ‘It is more for socialising and talking to friends about work than for actually doing work’ (Madge, Clare et al) 
  6. Pragmatic randomized trial of antenatal intervention to prevent post-natal depression by reducing psychosocial risk factors (Brugha, Traolach S. et al) 
  7. The challenges of insider research in educational institutions: wielding a double-edged sword and resolving delicate dilemmas (Mercer, Justine) 
  8. An efficient and effective system for interactive student feedback using Google+ to enhance an institutional virtual learning environment (Cann, Alan James) 
  9. The Development of Nurture Groups in Secondary Schools (Colley, David Rodway) 
  10. Mobile technologies and learning (Naismith, Laura et al)

Don’t forget if your research publications are on LRA, that they can be accessed by anyone in the world, unlike those behind publisher paywalls.  Simply by sharing the unique identifier (handle) in an email list, on webpage or via social networks you will find that your access rates and citations should climb yet further.

Posted in Leicester Research Archive | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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 »

Repositories and the Cloud – conference report

Posted by gazjjohnson on 24 February, 2010

Now that's magic!Yesterday I travelled (via a slightly circuitous route) to London and the Magic Circle Headquarters to attend the JISC/Eduserve event Repositories and the Cloud.  Billed as a technical and policy event I was a little concerned that it would be too high level, but as things turned out it seems my understanding of such things is better than I thought.  I can only capture my main thoughts on the day, as 10 minutes in my netbook power died and I had to drop back onto my HTC Magic to continue my Web 2 participation.

The day was split into three main chunks.

In the first session Michele Kimpton (DuraSpace Foundation), Alex Wade (Microsoft Research) and Les Carr (EPrints) talked about their repository platforms, and how they are looking to engage with the cloud.  I was especially interested in what Michele had to say; since DSPace and Fedora are now under one umbrella corporation I anticipate big changes in what we use currently as our repository platform.  Talking to other delegates at the event it seems the smart money is backing Fedora to emerge as the sole winner, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  I have to confess I’d never even heard of Windows Azure before today, and as it turns out I wasn’t the only one.  That Microsoft are making a play into the repository market is fairly significant, as increasingly it seems that proprietory software platforms may be in all repository manager’s futures.

A lot of what they focussed on (from my P.O.V.) was the using of off-site cloud storage for large chunks of repository contents; for preservation, for reasons of perceived economic savings and maintenance of access.  I was quite surprised as well to hear just what a big player Amazon are in this market; it seems their ambitions in the library and information sphere goes far beyond the supply of cheap books.

After a lot of lunch time discussions we moved onto the second session with Terry Harmer (Belfast eScience Centre).  Terry’s presentation seemed more technical, and so I must confess some of the finer points were probably lost on me.  However, he did raise a point about trans-national data storage and security that interested me.  The fact that under British law it’s not permissable to just host any data about people off-shore is a definite challenge to moving into the cloud.  Then again, how many of us are already doing such a thing if only in a small way.  He touched on the need to use either EU based servers, or ensure that (for example) US hosts had signed up to safe harbour (or harbor I imagine) agreements, whereby they would agree to respect key elements of UK and EU data protection laws, where they would otherwise not apply.

He also touched on the risks involved with using a major host (for example once again) Amazon – by being a bigger target as such there was a greater risk from griefers or hackers in general for DDoS attacks (taking out access to your data) or worse.  As he pointed out, most IRs are far too small to bother with; although I know that this doesn’t make them invisible or inviolate from assault.

The third part of the day broke out into two discussion sessions – one technical and one policy.  Paul Miller facilitated the policy one I attended, and there followed two hours of wide ranging discussions about using cloud resources for repositories.  A straw poll in the room revealed that most participants were using cloud resources already on a daily or regular basis, and a sizable number were doing this for work based activities and even with the blessing of their management.  However, a lot of the group noted a certain corporate or personal reservation about trusting to the cloud to the Nth degree.  One point that particularly resonated for me was the comment that “We’ve been spending a lot of time and energy advocating local repositories as something controllable, accessible locally mounted to placate certain academic worries – to suddenly shift to trans-national locations might well start ringing alarm bells for many of them.”  A feeling that was expressed by some in the meeting, and in the discussions that followed, that while cloud computing options were certainly exciting the repository field itself is still insufficiently mature to go for them wholesale just yet.

Me, and the founder of the Magic CircleThe event concluded with a reception where the discussion continued into the evening, or until the Magic Circle threw us out.  I spent some of the time planning some possible collaborative work with the RSP team in among sharing experiences and feedback on the day.

Overall this was a challenging day of thought and discussion.  Am I convinced that cloud computing is the saviour of repositories? No.  Do I think real economic savings can be made with them?  Not yet.  Do I think they’re relevant to the future of the repository community?  Almost certainly.  It will be a field well worth the watching, and doubtless there will be more about it in the months or years to come.

A twitter stream from the event is available.

[Edit: Presentations from the event can be found here]

Posted in Open Access, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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