Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Copyright: Reflections

One of the Chartership categories I've chosen is "Copyright". Copyright is one of those things that I know is important, but which I've always found difficult. I decided that I needed to learn about copyright for the following reasons:

  1. In my current role I work with the VLE, and occasionally get emails asking us to put certain documents on the system for students to access. This is rare, because most of our courses are planned in advance and the resources decided upon well before time, but it does occasionally happen. We have a specialist copyright officer, but she isn't full time, and works in another centre, so I thought it would be a good idea to get some extra knowledge.
  2. In the future it's possible that I may move on to another role where students or staff consult me about copyright issues. I want to be able to help them with confidence if this does happen.
  3. In today's Internet-dominated world, where things are shared online regularly, copyright is an important topic to know about in a more general sense.

Once I'd decided to learn more about copyright, what did I do?

  • I read the Facet Publishing book about copyright, Copyright: Interpreting the law for libraries, archives and information services. I also read a textbook available to me at the university I work at, originally written for law students on the Intellectual Property module.
  • I completed a film copyright course on FutureLearn, which allowed me to look at at copyright from a different angle.
  • I also investigated a number of websites, including the Intellectual Property Office, a blog post on the LSE Impact of Social Sciences site, and assorted blog posts including Joining up the dots: copyright and digital literacy by Jane Secker.

How do I feel about copyright now?
I feel I have a much better knowledge about copyright, what it is and what it does, the reasons for its existence and how it can apply in a university setting.

What next?
I would like to be able to apply my new-found knowledge in a real setting, able to assist with queries from students and staff. I would like to chat with our copyright officer to find out more about what she does on a day-to-day basis.