CILIP Copyright Executive Briefing 2015

Last week I was lucky enough to attend CILIP’s Copyright Executive Briefing. This one day conference focussed on the changes to copyright law that took place in 2014. I was not only a delegate, but a speaker, being tasked with talking about changes to copyright law for disabled people.

First thing to mention is the launch of CILIP and LACA’s London Manifesto – a call for ‘fair copyright reform for Libraries and Archvies in Europe. Read it here. There was a big, beautiful copy on the day, and a book for ‘wet ink signatures’ – and you and your organisation can sign up online!

The keynote was by Dr Ros Lynch, Copyright and IP Enforcement at the Intellectual Property Office. She spoke about the changes to exceptions for libraries and archives, such as allowing copying of all types of works for research purposes. She also touched upon the new orphan works exception, and licensing scheme – the latter is somewhat controversial in light of the recent 2039 campaign. She was positive about engaging with libraries and archives in order to effect balanced and useful changes to the copyright regime. She talked of the importance of evidence-based decision making.

The next speaker was Charles Oppenheim – as Naomi said, ‘the man who requires no introduction’. This is somebody I’ve read about since my first year at library school so it was wonderful to see him present. Charles looked at some of the new exceptions that affect L&As, namely dedicated terminals, supply by librarians to another library, preservation, supply by librarians to patrons (published works), supply by librarians to patrons (unpublished works). The dedicated terminals part prompted a lively discussion at the end about the meaning of ‘dedicated terminal’ – can it be an iPad, can it be the user’s own device? Ros Lynch has promised a copyright notice to give further guidance on this new area of the law, so watch this space…

My talk was next – the full slides can be seen here, but it is better viewed as the original Prezi. I talked about the changes to copyright law that affect people with disabilities. The major change is that all copyright works are included, and all relevant disabilities are covered. I also talked about the proposed changes to Disabled Students’ Allowance and how this means that libraries will have to be prepared to make reasonable adjustments, including providing material in accessible formats wherever possible. Finally came a brief look at some ongoing issues – cross-border supply of copies, the book famine, and the long-awaited but not yet ratified Marrakesh Treaty. A shout-out to Chester here, who sat calmly throughout the talk, and only scratched once! 😉

Naomi Korn, Chair of LACA, then discussed the Orphan Works Dilemma. This talk looked at the new exception vs. the licensing scheme. There are 50 million orphan works – at least – in the UK, and up to 50% of archive holdings can be orphan works. An issue with the exception is that it does not cover standalone artistic works, such as photographs. Libraries and museums would therefore have to seek out and pay a licensing fee for each use of a photograph. Furthermore, the exception does not cover ‘commercial use’, such as production of a guidebook. There was an interesting discussion at the end about risk of using works where the rightsowner was untraceable, and in many cases does not exist. Naomi also mentioned the importance of professional indemnity insurance, prompting Charles to tell us a story about a university that got sued to the tune of £50,000 as a lecturer uploaded copies of the Myers-Briggs test to their webpages!

The next speaker was Emily Stannard, otherwise known as @copyrightgirl. Her talk was on the new exceptions for education. A fun and witty talk that touched upon some topical issues – the Blurred Lines case, and the monkey selfie! Emily’s talk prompted discussion about use of images on the VLE under the illustration for instruction exception – JISC Legal have argued that use of a whole image might not be fair. Emily’s interpretation posed an interesting slant; if images used in a presentation are then lecture-captured and uploaded to the VLE, they cease to be standalone artistic works, and are being used to the purpose of i4i. Food for thought!

After (a lovely) lunch, Jane Secker updated us on the work of the UUK/Guild HE Copyright Working Group. They negotiate on behalf of the sector with the CLA and ERA. The CLA are currently updating their next licence offering – to run from August 2016 – and some of the proposals, including a Digital Content Store that would be developed by the CLA in conjunction with Cloudspring Technologies, look extremely interesting. The BL would provide content via the Higher Education Scanning Service (HESS), and other institutions could contribute. Jane mooted the idea of a summer meet, which was enthusiastically received. Copyright folk seem to enjoy getting together and the gatherings are lots of fun!

Barbara Stratton then updated the room on international copyright, particularly the situation at WIPO. It has been challenging, to say the least, to reach a consensus on harmonising copyright exceptions for libraries and archives. According to a study by Kenneth Crews, 33/186 member countries have no copyright exceptions for L&As. WIPO has lots of work to do, but countries are split over their support for reform. Barbara also mentioned MEP Julia Reda’s work in the European Parliament; LACA fed back suggestions to her InfoSoc Directive report, and she made some alternations as a result.

Last but definitely not least was Fred Saunderson, all the way from the National Library of Scotland. His talk was on the #Catch2039 campaign, which wanted to remove a rule which causes considerable difficulties for libraries, museums and archives when it comes to displaying and reproducing unpublished works. It was really interesting to hear the background and legal rationale to this campaign; apparently the Government had a chance to change this rule with the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013. A consultation was held in due course, and enough rightsowners kicked up a fuss (using human rights and deprivation of property arguments) that the change was decided against. Fred thinks this argument is dubious at best; copyright law already provides for creators and their direct descendants due to the ‘lifetime + 70 years’ term. The campaign ‘made some noise’ on Twitter, and I felt that the use of blank cases to display WWI ‘letters’ was a particularly poignant, effective tool.

I really enjoyed the day, getting the opportunity to present and to meet so many interesting, intelligent and curious folk. Thank you to Naomi Korn and CILIP for organising!

Tweets can be seen using the hashtag #CopyrightEB

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