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Copyright Queries



Archive for February, 2015

Freedom of Information

By ucylcjh, on 25 February 2015

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 was passed with the intention of making public authorities in the UK more accountable and transparent. It creates a general right of access for individual citizens to information held by public bodies. This is the piece of legislation which Tony Blair famously regretted – according to his published memoirs. The duty to provide information is very wide ranging but does have a list of exemptions, especially in relation to personal information on living individuals. UCL comes within the scope of the Act, so we have a duty to answer FOI requests appropriately.

Just this week a copyright question came along which also includes aspects of FOI and that led me to discover the existence of UCL’s excellent FOI service and to contact Alex Daybank of Legal Services, who is responsible for addressing Data Protection and FOI questions.    If you are within UCL and you have any questions about FOI please feel free to contact Alex via the dedicated FOI email address: foirequests@ucl.a.c.uk

Change in the Law on Artistic Works and Industrial Design

By ucylcjh, on 23 February 2015

The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has recently completed a consultation on a very specific aspect of Copyright Law. The plan is to repeal Section 52 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA), which currently functions as an exception. The usual term of copyright for an artistic work is the creator’s lifetime plus 70 years, but by virtue of Section 52, where an artistic work is exploited as an industrial design, the duration of copyright in the original work is 25 years from the first marketing of the product. The product consisting of copies of the original artistic work produced by an industrial process. Under current legislation the artistic work which has functioned as an industrial design in this way can thus be freely copied by others when 25 years has elapsed.

The current exception applies to both 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional works. It could cover furniture, wallpaper, fabrics and jewellery for example, where the design comes from an original artistic work which has been copied.

With the removal of the Section 52 exception, the original artistic work will enjoy the much longer copyright term applicable to artistic works in general. The main motive for the change seems to be to bring the UK into line with EU copyright law, where there is no equivalent exception.

The IPO has just published its proposal for dealing with Transitional Arrangements . The repeal will take effect on 6th April 2020, in order to give businesses relying upon the reproduction of original designs time to adjust. The overall effect is that many “works of artistic craftsmanship” which had already gone out of copyright will be protected once more, creating issues for among others, makers of reproduction furniture and publishers of books containing designs which will come back into copyright.

The IPO acknowledges that the most significant issue will be exactly which works qualify as “works of artistic craftsmanship” and therefore qualify for the full period of protection, something which is likely to be settled by the courts.

British Library Broadcast News Service

By ucylcjh, on 13 February 2015

Guest blog post from:  Elizabeth Lawes, Subject Librarian: Fine Art, History of Art & Film Studies, UCL Library Services.

For Art and Film Studies students, newspapers are an excellent source of exhibition and film reviews, interviews, obituaries etc. Alongside this wealth of text based resources, I am often asked the best place to find recent multimedia material. On a fact finding mission to find out about News and multimedia resources at the BL, I attended a workshop on the Television and Broadcast News Service , now available in the recently established St Pancras Newsroom.

The British Library has been collecting printed news since 1869 but, with many publications developing significant online content, has branched out into archiving .uk websites as part of the Legal Deposit UK Web Archive. This archive includes many news based sites and can be accessed on computers in the BL Reading Room (the smaller Open UK Web Archive is a collection of selected websites archived since 2003 with permissions to make freely available online). In addition to the web archives, in 2010 the BL started recording television and radio news broadcasts from channels free to air in the UK; to date, approximately 50,000 news programmes have been recorded from 22 channels and, currently, 60 hours of television and 22 hours of radio are being recorded every day. Channels include BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Al-Jazeera English, France 24, CNN, and Sky News. Often, programmes are available within hours, or even minutes, of broadcast. At least two channels are recorded 24/7, allowing the tracking of breaking news. During significant news events (e.g. the death of Osama Bin Laden), every channel is blanket recorded on a 24 hour basis.

Copyright restrictions mean that the searchable archive can only be accessed onsite at the British Library via the Broadcast News Service, but details of the content can be accessed via the BL’s main catalogue. Following recent updates to the CLA licence, multimedia materials are subject to the same controls as printed materials; it is entirely feasible that the BL will soon be dealing with requests from researchers for extracts of up to 5% of a news broadcast for use in their research. They have yet to devise a practical way to comply.


New CILIP Copyright Poster for Libraries

By ucylcjh, on 9 February 2015

A new poster designed to inform library users about copyright has been published on the CILIP* website. The poster has been created by the Library and Archives Copyright Alliance (LACA). The aim is to provide updated guidance which takes account of the changes to the Copyright Exceptions which were implemented by the Government during 2014. The Copyright Exceptions have become much more favourable for library users, but the task of explaining the exceptions has also become more complicated. The new CILIP poster is to be welcomed because it does provide a clear, succinct explanation and I would encourage libraries to print it out and display it by their copying equipment. The poster’s CC-BY-SA licence permits you to do that!

Displaying the appropriate copyright guidance is important for libraries of all kinds. If like UCL you benefit from the Copyright Licensing Agency HE licence, then you are obliged to display the CLA poster near your photocopiers/ scanners. But the CLA does not license ad hoc copying by students (or other members of the public) – it is designed to licence copying and scanning of teaching materials for course packs. It follows that you should display some additional guidance near your copying machines – relevant to the main use made of those machines – and the CILIP poster does fill that gap.

It is important that we should draw the attention of our library users to copyright law and the available exceptions because they need to know but also because, as librarians, we need to demonstrate that we are encouraging responsible use of copyright materials.

*Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals