- Priorities for European Union Copyright Reform: Copyright for Knowledge briefing, February 2016.
- Views on the Proposed Directive on Copyright in the Single Digital Market: Copyright for Knowledge's reponse to a call for views on modernising the European copyright framework by the UK Intellectual Property Office, December 2016.
Communications and Briefings
- Email email@example.com
"Why can't I use it? I found it on the internet"
Lobbying for Copyright reform
Back in October we blogged about the threat posed to the the EU Orphan works exception by a no deal Brexit and the LACA campaign to highlight the issue.
Copyright infringement arises from re-using someone’s work without the permission of the copyright owner (or the benefit of a licence or suitable copyright exception) and is a legal issue. On the other hand, plagiarism arises from re-using someone else’s work in a way which implies it is your own. It is essentially a matter of ethics and academic discipline rather than a legal issue, although the consequences can be very serious.
The Court of Justice of the EU was recently asked to rule on whether the taste of a food could be a “work” in terms of the EU Directive on copyright in the information society (Directive 2001/29/EC). If a taste could be a work then it could in principle be protected by copyright. The context was a case for infringement brought by Levola Hengelo BV, manufacturer of a cheese called Heksenkaas against a rival food company, Smilde Foods BV, manufacturers of Witte Wievenkaas (C310/17).
In August this year we introduced UCL’s Open Education (OE) initiative through the UCL Open Access blog (which you can read here) the article provides an overview of what Open Education is, including benefits, and information about what UCL is doing.
When publishing open educational resources it is essential to consider Intellectual Property issues, such as copyright, open licensing and third-party content.
Intellectual property (IP) and copyright
The UK IPO has made it clear that in the event of a no-deal Brexit it intends to amend the Orphan works exception out of UK copyright legislation. Yet this is a very useful exception which permits a range of cultural institutions including libraries, archives, film heritage bodies and universities to make orphan works from their collections available online. The distinctive feature of orphan works is that the owners of copyright in the work cannot be identified (or if they can be identified cannot be located) so that there is no possibility of seeking permission.
Promoting copyright literacy is a significant task for library and information professionals, wherever they happen to work. IFLA (the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) has just published an important statement on Copyright Literacy The statement is measured and comprehensive, stressing the importance of the role of libraries in maximising access to copyright-protected materials for their patrons within the legal framework of copyright.
The Renckhoff case, C-161/17 is fascinating for a number of reasons: Firstly there is the bizarre fact that the reuse of a photograph of an historic bridge in Cordoba, copied from an online travel magazine and used in the Spanish language project of a school pupil, posted on the school’s website, should require a decision from the Court of Justice of the European Union. The words “sledgehammer” and “nut” spring to mind.
The World awaits the outcome of the deliberations of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on this very question. Can the taste of Heks’nkaas be protected by copyright? Advocate General Wathelet’s opinion in the Levola Hengelo (C310/17) case was recently reported here on the IPKAT blog. The text of his opinion is not yet available but the AG’s answer is clearly “no.”
UCL is running a free, one day event to examine many aspects of open science. It is open only to UCL staff and students, so apologies to any non-UCL readers of this blog. The event is happening on Monday 25th June 2018 from 09:30 to 16:00 at the Senate House, Malet Street WC1E. It promises to be a fascinating event for anyone involved in research or simply interested in open science. “How to make your data open”, “open peer review” and “citizen science” will be among the topics discussed by high profile speakers from UCL and other organisations.
Recently we were asked about quotations in a PhD thesis which was about to be submitted for posting in Discovery, UCL’s open access repository. The student had included a small number of images from published papers by other authors (third party material).
Very sensibly the student had made an initial attempt to seek permission by contacting the publisher in each case but had received no response and was concerned about what to do next. Was permission essential to include these particular images? Again, a sensible question.