UUK Copyright Event

I attended the UUK/LIS-COPYSEEK event in London last Thursday. I found it, as ever, useful to meet other copyright practitioners from other institutions, and to discuss how we’re all approaching the recent changes to UK copyright law.

The theme of the event was to discuss the myriad licences that HE and FE institutions have to subscribe to when using copyrighted materials – the main ones are:

  • the CLA licence, mainly covering copying from books and journals. This is the main licence that we use to provide our scanned extract service here at CARBS.
  • the NLA licence, covering copying from newspapers
  • the ERA licence, allowing us to copy TV and radio broadcasts – this licence enables us to offer services such as Box of Broadcasts – BoB for short.
  • the DACS licence, allowing us to copy images. This licence is a holdover from the old 35mm slides, and is little used at most universities.

(There are other licences that apply to playing music and songs, but they usually don’t fall under our remit).

The first half of the event allowed us to discuss, amongst ourselves, how we can best use these licences and what changes – if any – we would like to see.

For the second half, UUK/LIS-COPYSEEK invited representatives from the CLA, ERA, the IPO and UUK itself to discuss their licences and for us, their users, to pose questions.

It’s interesting that, as the recent exceptions have allowed us to provide more material outside these licences, the licence providers are aware that they need to demonstrate value for money. The CLA, for instance, is adding a few new services to its licence such as a shared content site that will allow institutions to share material, reducing the need for each intitution to have dedicated scanning staff. At my previous University we asked if we could provide such a service to the wider HE community and were told that that would be a breach of their licence. How times change…

The CLA also seems to be becoming a central ‘clearing house’ for copyright content – it recently started administering the NLA licence, is in (protracted) negotiations with DACS about disembedding images from books to use in presentations &c. and is introducing a second extract service – allowing us to supply more than the usual 5% or 1 chapter that the licence allows. Unfortunately, as it stands the service would be too expensive for CARBS, especially for our larger cohorts. Nevertheless, it’s good to see the licence develop and change over time.


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