Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights
This page provides links to resources that consider the legal issues of copyright and IPR (intellectual property rights) when creating e-learning solutions.
Articles in date order, most recent first.
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"The papers were produced and published in association with Pinsent Masons for the JISC Legal - Legal Aspects of Online Learning Environments Workshop/Conference - held at the University of Warwick on 1-2 June 2005."
Added: 7 July 2005
Papers available in PDF or Word format
"In 1991, Peggy Lee was able to buy a new car. She had just received $US 2.3 million in relation to her performance (and song lyrics) in "The Lady is a Tramp" which had originally been released by Walt Disney in 1955. The trigger for the payment was a complaint by her that, although she had agreed for a film for cinema release, no permission had ever been given for release on video. This is a classic (and wholly expected) confirmation of the idea that, where copyright material has been used in one form, any other unlicensed use will be an infringement, possible precipitating a heavy - and unbudgeted-for - legal claim.Robin Fry, Beachcroft Wainsborough Solicitors, November 2004
Added: 9 January 2005
"There are a range of legal issues to consider with e-learning but the real danger is that necessary rights clearances may not be confronted systematically with neither the elearning vendor nor the corporate really understanding the issues or taking responsibility for dealing with such matters."
"A new group of licences about to be introduced to the UK could offer a more flexible approach to copyright law." Becky Hogge, The Guardian, 28 October 2004
Added: 30 October 2004
On November 1, a group of new copyright licences will be released in the UK, arriving from the US under the umbrella of Creative Commons (CC).
"This briefing paper describes: The background to the change in the law; The major features of the changes to the law; Implications of the changes for HEIs and FEIs generally, and for e-learning in particular. " Charles Oppenheim, JISC Legal Information Service, June 2004
Updated: 9 April 2012
"The document attempts to summarise the recent changes in UK copyright law as a result of the EU Directive on the topic, and identifies a few of the many implications for FE and HE"
"Creative Commons is devoted to expanding the range of creative work available for others to build upon and share."
Added: 27 Jul 2003
How to set up a license to protect your work
"This portal provides real world, practical and relevant copyright information for anyone navigating the net. Launched on May Day '95, the Copyright Website strives to lubricate the machinations of information delivery. As spice is to Dune, information is to the Web; the spice must flow. Or,if you prefer another metaphor, take the blue pill and I'll show you just how deep the rabbit hole goes..."
Added: 17 June 2002
Over 7 years in operation - and we've only just added it!
"By design, we excluded several aspects of the copyright issue because other communities, especially the library community, are addressing them (e.g., fair use in distance learning environments). We focused on a particular area: the development and ownership of online courses and course materials. We also concentrated on credit-bearing courses rather than noncredit courses, training courses, self-study courses, and so on. Finally, we centered our attention primarily on full-time faculty and their engagement in developing courses and course materials rather than on adjuncts, who are usually hired by an institution to accomplish specific instructional tasks." Carol Twigg, Pew Learning and Technology Program, Center for Academic Transformation, Rensselaer, 2001
Added: 24 January 2002
Looks at a number of case studies, asks questions and makes some recommendations
"Several years ago, Harvard law professor Arthur Miller sold videos of his lectures to an online law school called the Concord School of Law. Not at all pleased when it discovered what he had done, Harvard accused him of violating University policy. Miller retorted he had violated no such policy, and the lectures were his intellectual property. And so the two parties began a lengthy debate over who owns what, and what rights that ownership bestows."
Added: 11 September 2001
A sobering copyright case study
"In this competitive age, universities are seeking ways to protect their intellectual property, for fear that it might be stolen or used by others without financial benefit coming back to the university. Increasingly, universities are using mechanisms of secrecy to secure their property. This paper argues that this approach is wrong on both moral and business grounds, and that a better model can be found in the Open Source movement of the software industry." Jan Newmarch, First Monday, Vol 6 No 6 (June 2001)
Added: June 2001
UK intellectual property solicitors can be found on the Law and Legal website.
An attempt to answer common myths about copyright seen on the net and cover issues related to copyright and USENET/Internet publication. By Brad Templeton
"The whole area of copyright is strewn with popular misconceptions and traps for the unwary, so that authoritative clarification within the new field of Internet material is particularly welcome." A programme of seminars, organised by TALiSMAN (Teaching And Learning in Scottish Metropolitan Area Networks), and held at the University of Strathclyde and Northern College (Aberdeen), 21 January 1998.