On April Fool’s Day, over 190 information professionals gathered in London for the CILIP Copyright Executive briefing but as our chair, Naomi Korn (and Chair of LACA – the Libraries and Archives Copyright Alliance) , told us at the outset this was no April Fool. After almost 10 years in the making, this June the government is set to amend copyright law in the UK, largely for the better of the education and cultural and heritage sectors. The new Statutory Instruments were published last Friday by the Intellectual Property Office and rather than go through line by line what they mean (Ben White, the British Library’s Head of IP has done an excellent job of this already on the CILIP website) I thought I’d share some key highlights of the day for me. However the new amendments and guidance is also available from the IPO. It’s going to be important for me to digest these and convey it to staff at LSE over the coming months.
We were welcomed to the event by CILIP’s CEO, Annie Mauger, but our first speaker (headline act?) was Viscount Younger of Leckie, the Under Secretary of State for Intellectual Property at Business, Innovation and Skills, and someone I had the pleasure of meeting late last year, to discuss the proposed amendments to the law.
Lord Younger started by thanking CILIP – he was impressed with the turn out at the meeting and also commented on how it was an exciting time for copyright – the changes were making it easier for public to see treasures held in libraries and museums. Overall the Minister is a great supporter of the arts, museums and libraries and he spoke knowledgeably about how the new copyright exceptions around preservation would be of value to museums, galleries and libraries. He also spoke of the data and text mining exceptions and how this will be of benefit to researchers. And he spoke about the government’s proposed changes around dealing with orphan works (which are in-copyright materials where an owner cannot be traced). As well as implementing an EU directive at end of October which means organisations can digitise material and put it online, an orphan works licensing scheme is being introduced in the UK. Lord Younger ended by thanking the sector for their help – he reflected that the changes in the law have taken a long time to achieve. However, in the cry of children in the back of the car ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ He hopes that we are…
Our Chair Naomi also reflected on the long and hard fought battle to amend copyright laws in the UK and thanked the many people have involved in helping bring about copyright reform. She then introduced the first speaker, Antoinette Graves from the IPO –who spoke in more detail about orphan works licensing in the UK. Antoinette’s slides are available at on the CILIP website. She began by considering the orphan works EU directive – reviewing its aims and scope for the first port of call for dealing with orphan works will be the EU directive – its aimed at the cultural sector and covers publicly accessible libraries, educational establishments and museums. She looked at what this directive includes (for example it does not cover standalone images) and the requirement to conduct a diligent search. If you can’t rely on the directive – you can then rely on the orphan works licensing scheme in the UK which will be launched in October 2014. The scheme will be administered by the IPO and allow you to obtain a licence to use work commercially and distribute copies. Again you will need to carry out a diligent search but the IPO hope to keep costs need to be as low as possible for cultural sector so they are currently looking at a one off annual fee.
Our next speaker was James Bennett from the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) and again his slides are online. James gave us a background to the CL, did you know-in 2012/13 they distributed £67million to rightsholders! James commented how 42% of attendees were from the HE sector at today’s briefing. 7% from schools. 9% from business. He then proceeded to look at the main CLA Licences starting with education licences and he outlined some new developments for example CLA are trialing a Moodle plug in to log content at the points its uploaded into VLE. James agreed there had been issues with the US repertoire affecting HE in the main, however CLA will soon allowing material to be stored until the end of an academic year even if excluded from their licence and they are simplifying reporting for the HE sector. There have also been developments with the CLA title search. There were quite a number of questions for James, unsurprisingly from the HE sector. There was a question about the VLE reporting tool – CLA are currently working with a Moodle developer to create a plug in to keep track of content that has been uploaded and they have a beta version of this. They want to extend it to other platforms e.g. Blackboard. And a question was asked about the HE extension to cover students based at overseas campuses – James answered that there will be a development but it was too early to say what as the consultation with HE via UUK is still ongoing.
Ben White from the British Library then outlined the key changes will we see with new copyright exceptions. Again you can view his slides here. Ben started by pointing out that copyright was invented for book publishing three centuries ago. Hargreaves is really to rebalance the copyright regime, to be format neutral, future proof and to improve licensing. He also emphasized the principle that copyright exceptions enshrined in law should not be trumped by licences, for example from electronic resources, which may be based on laws from the US. Ben outlined a raft of changes following Hargreaves. He also took us through each of the sections of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act which are being amended. His blog post gives an excellent summary if you wanted to get up to speed on this.
Naomi then took us through what the new exceptions mean for us. See her slides for details. She gave some specific examples of how the new exceptions might help organisations such as the Imperial War Museum who are engraving quotations into the fabric of the building – they could be at risk of infringing copyright but will no longer to seek permission to use these quotes. She also talked about how Exeter University will be able to digitize the letters of Daphne Du Maurier for preservation purposes and make them available via dedicated terminals. Naomi gave us a useful 10 step guide for after today’s session which I found particularly helpful.
There were a number of panels during the day, the first included Robin Stout and Mark Darby from the IPO who were quizzed in some detail about the new exceptions. It was suggested that LACA and the IPO could come up with some scenarios to help libraries and museums and. to encourage understanding. The IPO will put more detailed guidance on their website and they are looking for volunteers to help. However they already have some useful summaries about the main amendments to the copyright exceptions.
In the afternoon Barbara Stratton, LACA’s international rep gave an overview of copyright in Europe and beyond. You can view her slides here. She reported on various EU Commission groups she’s attended and how there was trouble from the start as they have been dominated by media industry. 9 organisations walked out in May 2013 – many library related bodies. Why did they walk out? Because there was no remit to look at holistic copyright reform. The EU held a consultation about proposed Copyright Rules from Dec-Mar 2014. 11,000 responses were received by the Commission! There are a whole raft of things that libraries would like to see including new rights and exceptions, for example the right to circumvent technical protection measures and a right to acquire books and lend them. Barbara urged us to follow IPKat and the 1709 blog to keep up to date. Overall the key supporters for libraries and archives are Latin America, Caribbean, Africa and India. Opposed is developed countries but particularly EU, Central Europe and Baltic. But she finished with the fact that good stuff does happen – such as the Marrakech Visually Impaired Persons Treaty – signed in June 2013.
We had a useful session on copyright clearance at the Wellcome Library by Christy Henshaw. The Wellcome collection is diverse – manuscripts, images, books, recordings around health and medicine. Wherever possible they want to make it freely available online. 5 million items have been digitised, about half now online but 50% of the work was published after 1900 so likely to be in copyright. Many archival collections can’t be made available easily- there are too many rightsholders to trace. Christy’s slides are online. She outlined two case studies where the Wellcome library had looked to clear rights to digitize a collection of books on the history of genetics working with ALCS and PLS to see if they could trace the rightsholders. She also talked about rights clearance around an archives collection which they found to be a more sustainable model? Again there were many copyright holders and the problem is the data is unstructured. There also might not just be one author – the collection had a lot of letters to and from an author. The Wellcome Library now have an approach to clear rights for in copyright content. However, mass digitisation wont be made easier with a licensing scheme for orphan works.
Jonathan Griffin, from PLS spoke to us about the Access to research scheme being launched in UK public libraries. This is a new free service giving public libraries access to 6000 journals, 4 million articles from leading UK and international STEM publishers. Wiley, Springer, Elsevier, Taylor and Francis, Sage etc. It is a walk in service accessible in local libraries via dedicated terminals so there is no remote access. It’s free for the general public, being offered following the Finch report. You can see Jonathan’s slide here and find out which libraries have signed up from the Access to Research website.
This final panel session was a chance to ask questions of Naomi, Barbara, Ben and Christy. And a round up of the day and summary by Naomi. Each speaker was asked to give us one thing to take away from the today. I certainly had taken away a wealth of information, but also enjoyed playing an active part in a day that raised awareness of copyright and was a chance for those of us who find it a fascinating subject to come together. Barbara urged us to document the problems we encounter with copyright so we collect the evidence for WIPO and LACA. Meanwhile Christy said that copyright clearance is something you can do, but you will have to take risks, so get everyone together to see what appetite for risk is in your organisation. Ben felt that we’d focused on digital equivalents in an analog world today – but research in a digital world could be really different (he was talking about big data) but again we need to log these issues and report them to LACA. Finally Naomi said that LACA will send out a template letter to go to MPs about the copyright amendments and start a twitter campaign. And she will be leading on work to develop scenarios to help the community by LACA working with the IPO.