March 09, 2012

Web 2.0, Creative Commons and Orphan Works

Writing about web page http://www.rsp.ac.uk/

Today was the RSP's first webinar on 'Web 2.0, Creative Commons and Orphan Works' and as it was on a subject dear to the hearts of many of us here at Warwick we arranged to watch it as a group. Presented by Charles Oppenheim (Emeritus Professor of Information Science at Loughborough University) the webinar covered an array of current topics and concerns around the introduction and ever increasing use of collaborative tools and new licences.

The central theme, as Prof Oppenheim stated, was around the way copyright is affecting the way we use technology but more importantly how our use of technology is affecting copyright.

Discussions covered:

  • Web2.0 as a novel challenges to the existing configuration of copyright law
  • A closer look at 'performance rights' as an integral part of the process of disseminating recorded lectures
  • JISC's excellent Web2Rights toolkitas a single source of guidance and advice on all areas of copyright, but primarily Web2.0 material
  • Managing complaints (quickly take down, investigate, don't forget to apologise and offer credit or reimbursement as appropriate)
  • Basics of Creative Commons Licences
  • An important caveat that people can use creative commons licences when they do not have the rights to do so
  • [One delegate alerted us all to a browser plug-in to help identify CC licenced material OpenAttribute, which I will be investigating]
  • Change is coming, both in the form of the UK's response to the Hargreaves Review and in the EU with a directive on orphan works.
  • Vicarious Liability can be argued so that the institution is liable even if the student is only using equipment provided by the University (a wifi hub for instance) but only if the institution can be proved to have had the "right, ability or duty" to control the actions of the student who violated copyright.
  • Non-commercial is very much not the same as non-profit, a loss-making activity that takes any money at all is still a commercial activity.
  • Creative Commons licences are definitely not just for artworks, but can cover anything and everything (except software with is better with a GNU licence)

A very interesting and thought provoking talk (as all Prof. Oppenheim's are) what this space for the write up of the second RSP copyright webinar on the topic of proposed changes to copyright law.

Thanks again to everyone involved in the webinar!


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