- 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
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"Why can't I use it? I found it on the internet"
Lobbying for Copyright reform
Members of the veteran electronic music group, Kraftwerk (Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider-Esleben) have an answer from the CJEU to their claim that copying extracts from their recordings to be used in other musical recordings in the form of “sampling” should only be carried out with their permission. The case which concerns the sampling of a brief extract from their song “Metall auf Metall” which was then played as a continuous loop in a 1999 song produced by Moses Pelham and Martin Haas and performed by Sabrina Setlur called “Nur mir”. The CJEU case number is C-476/17.
An interesting blog post by Shaun Khoo on the Scholarly Kitchen website takes a sceptical look at whether academic authors are likely to gain more leverage in an open access publishing environment. With current publishing models, the publisher is generally in a more powerful position and the author at a disadvantage in any negotiation. Is that likely to change?
A recent enquirer asked about producing a digital version of a book which included two contributions in English by well know Czech political figures. Both the authors had died before 1949. Given that the usual copyright term of the author’s lifetime plus 70 years would apply, it follows that the published works of both authors are out of copyright in the UK (and the EU generally), so both contributions may be digitised and made available without permission.
A recent enquiry concerned the use of a past thesis in a writing workshop where students of a specific course would have the opportunity to examine and also to critique the writing style of that thesis, which would be studied as a relevant example. The question was whether it would be acceptable to copy the thesis in its entirety for the purpose of the workshop.
The new copyright directive, the DSM Directive is nearing the completion of its long journey through the EU legislative procedure. The latest version, has been approved by the European Parliament and now goes back to the Council. Previously there were very few mandatory exceptions to copyright in EU legislation.
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.