The proposed exceptions to copyright law offer greater flexibility to teaching and research activities | Impact of Social Sciences
"2013 is a momentous year for UK copyright law. This month, the Intellectual Property Office has released eight draft Statutory Instruments (SI) for copyright exceptions, among them education, libraries/archives and quotation. These drafts have been produced off the back of the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property which recommended changes to copyright law in areas where the current law is confusing or has not kept pace with developments. So what exactly is being proposed and what implications will these exceptions have on the higher education community? ... The most radical overhaul to the education section of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act is the section on instruction (teaching) and examination. On the face of it, this exception appears to relate to face-to-face teaching. It would permit any type of copyright work to be used for the purpose of instruction provided that it is done for a non-commercial purpose and the source is appropriately acknowledged. This exception will apply to any type of establishment which provides teaching (for non-commercial purposes) ... Distance learning is covered by a separate exception. This exception only relates to educational establishments and covers the use of extracts of works. However, broadcasts and standalone artistic works are specifically excluded; broadcasts because they are dealt with elsewhere, but there appears to be no good reason to exclude standalone artistic works. Members of staff wishing to use artistic works (images, photographs, diagrams, etc) in Virtual Learning Environments will either have to link to them if they are available on the web, scan them under a licence agreement, get permission, or use them under a different exception, such as for criticism/review. The limitations to this exception are: that no more than 5% of the work may be copied in a 12 month period; that if there is a licence which permits this activity, a licence should be taken (e.g. for literary works, a CLA licence must be held) ... Some of the proposed exceptions will be welcomed by researchers. In particular, the extension of fair dealing for non-commercial research to all types of copyright works, including films, sound recordings and broadcasts. A librarian, archivist or curator would be able to copy a reasonable proportion of a published work (and one article in a journal) for researchers so that they can take them away and study them as part of their research rather than being confined to one geographical location within the UK ... Sadly, the above changes to copyright law are unlikely to invoke a sea-change in the world of scholarly works and will have little if any impact on traditional educational publishing. However, there is one more proposed exception to copyright that is likely to have a significant (positive) impact on research, and that is data analysis for non-commercial research. This exception would permit any researcher undertaking non-commercial research to take a copy of copyright works which they have lawful access to (for example under institutional subscription licence) and carry out an electronic analysis of anything recorded in the work. This could greatly open up opportunities to do large scale text and data mining of scholarly content across a whole range of publishers, thereby allowing researchers to gain a holistic overview of their research area ..."