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Using YouTube videos for teaching

ucylcjh2 February 2017

I was recently asked to clarify the copyright considerations when reusing videos from YouTube for teaching. There are a number of issues to examine:

  • Anyone can upload a YouTube video, but does that person own the copyright? We can’t assume they do and we should consider this.
  • Maybe the person who posted the video does own the copyright, but have they included any other copyright protected works (music, recent artworks etc.). Does it look as though it is infringing?
  • Many YouTube videos have a Creative Commons licence attached which allows reuse in many contexts. So once we have clambered over the initial hurdle of copyright ownership, any videos with a CC licence are potentially reusable for teaching purposes as long as we adhere to the licence terms.
  • YouTube has its  own detailed terms of service which appear to restrict the user to “personal, non-commercial” use. On the face of it this clashes with the rights granted by CC licences.
  • On the other hand YouTube clearly recognises that copyright is owned by the author of the video, so perhaps we can assume that the CC licence chosen by the author  overrides the general YouTube terms of service?

Copyright Notices

ucylcjh31 May 2016

UCL authors sometimes ask about suitable copyright notices to add to their works to ensure that they are protected. In the UK and in the European Union generally there is no  requirement for  works to be registered for copyright protection. Copyright applies automatically once  a work is “fixed” in some form, regardless also of whether it has been published or not.

It follows that adding a copyright notice such as “Copyright 2016. All rights reserved” does not increase copyright protection in the least. It may still serve other useful puposes such as reminding people about copyright restrictions and indicating the likelihood that a rights owner may take action against infringement.

If the notice identifies the rights owner it also serves the purpose of advising whom to contact for permission to reuse the work. It can even be a form of licence if it specifies what is acceptable, such as “You are permitted to make one copy for non-commercial educational purposes” or the like and may be a DIY alternative to attaching a Creative Commons licence to your work if you are happy to allow certain kinds of reuse.

 

 

Replication Studies

ucylcjh12 November 2015

In some branches of Science replication studies are common practice. Recently I received a query about possible copyright implications. What happens in general is that the results of an experimental study are published and other researchers seek to test the validity of the results by replicating the study as closely as possible.   How about copyright issues?

There is no copyright in the underlying ideas or the methods used in a study although there is copyright in a paper expressing the ideas and describing the methods. There may be a fine line. The replication study may need to quote extensively from the previous paper, for example, raising copyright questions. 

There must be an expectation on the part of academic researchers that others will want to replicate their studies. If it is necessary to reproduce work which is protected, then this may be covered by the Quotation exception – one of the recently introduced “fair dealing” exceptions in UK copyright legislation .  In case of doubt it will probably be straight-forward to request permission.

There is no intrinsic copyright issue in “re-staging” the experiment, but what if the study itself involves the use of works protected by copyright ? Think of a psycholology study which measures the subjects emotional reactions to a series of videos.

What if the videos were originally “borrowed” from YouTube without any copyright checks? That may create a serious problem for researchers wishing to replicate the study as closely as possible. This is an actual example described in the Guardian which underlines the importance of an awareness of copyright issues in research.

 

 

Digitising videos and the “Preservation exception”

ucylcjh3 September 2015

This is an enquiry from one of the UCL Libraries: Would the “Preservation exception” contained in Section 42 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA) cover the digitising of their extensive collection of historical videos? The videos were originally published in various countries and are not made available for loan.

The answer is that this collection is a good example of material in a superseded format which could  be digitised under the terms of the Preservation exception. The main conditions from CDPA Section 42(2) are that the “work” must be:

“(a) included in the part of the collection kept wholly or mainly for the purposes of reference on the institution’s premises,

(b) included in a part of the collection not accessible to the public, or

c) available on loan only to other libraries, archives or museums”

Despite the ambiguities we can assume that it is enough for one of the conditions to be fulfilled and archival video collections will usually tick the box.

There is a further condition that the exception only applies when it is “not reasonably practicable” to fulfill the preservation need by purchasing a digital copy – CDPA Section 42(3).

What can be done subsequently with the digitised copies is also governed by copyright law. The “Dedicated terminals” exception (CDPA Section 42) would permit the digitised videos to be made available within the Library. Following CJEU case law  (Ulmer v. Technical University of Darmstadt ) the Dedicated terminals exception might also cover the digitisation itself.

 

Re-usable images and Europeana

ucylcjh19 June 2015

A recent enquiry about sources for historical photographs of London which could legitimatelybe re-used for a  non-commercial project led me to look at the Europeana website. For anyone not familiar with Europeana already, this is an ambitious EU project to digitise European culture and make it available. The searchable database now contains many re-usable images, often covered by a Creative Commons Licence. 

UCL has also contributed material, notably through the Europeana Travel Project, in the form of historical images from the Library of the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES).  

Another excellent website when searching for re-usable images is the University of Nottingham Xpert database.

Just sign on the dotted line…

ucylcjh30 April 2015

Publisher contracts can vary quite a lot, but in the case of traditional book publishing it is common for the publishers to expect the copyright in the work to be assigned to them. Before you accept the agreement it is worth taking a critical look at the details. While the publisher is usually in a more powerful position, you could still try to negotiate if there are aspects which you don’t like.

An alternative would be for you to retain the copyright and grant the other publisher a licence to publish for example, which means that you have not entirely surrendered the Intellectual Property rights in the book. Even if the publisher is amenable to this suggestion, they may still insist upon an all encompassing exclusive licence and a cynic might say there is no practical difference to assigning the copyright.

If copyright is assigned, the publisher may also grant you a licence to make use of your own work in certain ways, such as reproducing extracts on your personal or institutional website. It is always worth pressing the publisher about any specific use of the work you would wish to make. Recently a UCL academic author was concerned that assigning the copyright in his work (as requested) would prevent him from translating and publishing the work in his native language (Portuguese) at a future date. The author was right to be concerned, since copyright includes the right to produce an adapted version, such as a translation. The answer: negotiate on that point with the publisher to see whether they will licence that particular right back to you.

Performing Poetry at a Public Event

ucylcjh24 April 2015

A UCL department was planning a poetry performance to mark the WW1 centenary. The readings would be mainly of complete poems by authors of various nationalities. Where the original works were in a language other than English a translation would also be read either from a published source or translated into English by one of the team organising the event. What are the copyright issues and how should they be addressed?

Performance of copyright works is one of the activities restricted by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA). Faced by this question, it is important to know whether the performances are internal to UCL and will be attended solely by our students and staff. If it were purely internal then the event would be covered by a copyright exception in Section 34 of the CDPA for performances within educational establishments. Had that been the case then there would have been no need to request permission to perform the works.

As it was, members of the public would be invited to attend the event and there would be a small entry charge to cover expenses, so Section 34 did not help us. The answer then was that, in so far as the works were still in copyright, it was necessary to seek permission from each copyright owner. Translating a work into another language is also a restricted act (a form of “adaptation”). It follows that where UCL people were producing an English translation for the occasion, they would really need the copyright owner’s permission to do so. If they were reading a published translation then that performance would also require permission, since the translation would also be protected by copyright (separate from the copyright in the original)

Quoting from an unpublished PhD Thesis

ucylcjh17 April 2015

This query received by the UCL Library involves several aspects of copyright. A researcher, Shilpa, who is planning to publish a book, has visited the Library to consult a PhD thesis. The author of the thesis (Hector) died a few years previously. Shilpa has asked about the copyright implications of reproducing some quotations from Hector’s PhD thesis in her book. A question springs to mind for those familiar with the recent changes to UK Copyright Law:

Could the use of material from the PhD thesis be covered by the new, broader Quotations exception (Section 32 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988)? If the quotations are of modest length and meet the requirements of the Fair dealing test (which applies to Section 32 along with other copyright exceptions) then it may be that the researcher will feel confident in relying on the exception.

However, if there is any doubt about whether it is then, given especially that the book will be commercially published, Pam may decide to reduce her risk by seeking permission.

 But then whom should she approach for permission? Copyright would initially have belonged to the author. The thesis is unpublished so it is most likely that copyright remained with the author, now deceased. IP rights can be inherited like any item of property. Unless the author of the thesis made provision for the copyright in his works in a will it has probably been inherited by his family as part of his estate. The task facing Shilpa is therefore to trace Hector’s family in order to find the copyright owner and seek permission.

Freedom of Information

ucylcjh25 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

British Library Broadcast News Service

ucylcjh13 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.