Thursday 13 December 2007

Copyright and preservation news from Israel

Thanks to Chris Rusbridge for forwarding on the following information from Rivka Shveiky, who is the head of the legal deposit department at the Jewish National and University Library in Israel:

“Some weeks ago, The Knesset (the Israeli parliament) passed two laws that have important implications for preservation in libraries and archives in Israel: the first - a new copyright law, the second - The National Library Law.

The new copyright law addresses the preservation needs in the clause "permitted usages in libraries and archives". For the sake of preservation, this clause includes permission to copy copyrighted works, from which the library or the archive possesses a copy, as long as the library or archive does not use the preservation copies as extra copies for everyday use. In practical terms this allows libraries and archives to copy works from obsolete formats to newer ones in order to preserve it for the future. The law also indirectly refers to the preservation of online content, by authorizing the Minister of Education to permit copying of certain kinds of works. The Minister of Education is also authorized to determine the terms for public access to the copied works.

The National Library Law contains a clause that gives The National Library even more extensive rights to copy copyrighted works for the purpose of preservation. The National Library received the right to copy any publication which is subject to Legal Deposit but failed to be deposited for any reason. While Internet sites are not subject to legal deposit in Israel, the new law allows The National Library to copy Internet sites, and thus enables the archiving of the Israeli domain. Public access to the archived Internet sites will be under the terms and conditions that the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Education will determine.”

Guide to Managing IPR in Digital Repositories

I have been informed that the final outputs of the JISC TrustDR (Trust in Digital Repositories) project are now available.

Here’s the information that’s being provided by TrustDR:

Managing Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in Digital Learning Materials: A Development Pack for Institutional Repositories

Authors: John Casey, Jackie Proven & David Dripps

Distributed under a Creative Commons License - Attribution 2.5 UK: Scotland

You can download it here.

The pack is aimed at those who are setting up or running digital collections of learning materials that are managed at an institutional level. It is written in a clear and straightforward style that sets out to persuade the reader of the benefits of engaging with the issues associated with IPR in e-learning. The approach taken is based on the idea that the organisation of an IPR policy in e-learning should reflect and support the educational activity instead of hinder it – and that means understanding ‘the business of e-learning’. To do this it paints a compelling picture of an educational sector in the process of changing from traditional ad-hoc models of teaching to a more sustainable, team-based model – driven by increased student numbers, a greater focus on learners needs, and increased requirements for flexible delivery with the increasing use of digital media and technologies.

The pack is useful and unusual in that it situates its analysis and advice specifically in the highly relevant context of the professional and institutional process change that is required to introduce and extend flexible learning opportunities in our education systems – a common scenario that raises many IPR challenges. It surveys the current confused and contradictory practises in UK education and suggests that these practices reflect a situation where e-learning is not yet effectively integrated into our institutions. It also highlights a lack of involvement and leadership by senior management.

The authors argue strongly that sorting out the IPR policy for e-learning can be a way of getting senior management to engage more effectively with the educational and organisational changes that are needed to make e-learning work. Clarifying IPR policy therefore becomes an enabler for best practice. Looked at in this light - to be able to account for the provenance of content in e-learning materials is really a matter of individual academic integrity and for institutional quality control. Another central argument deals with the relative values of teaching activity by humans and the role of learning materials content, and again the pack promotes the development of policies that properly reflect these values.

The format of the development pack is a central document of about 70 pages linked to other resources; it is designed to allow the reader to dip in and out or to explore themes in greater depth. The pack functions both as a personal training manual and as an organisational development tool, it includes:

  • A Beginners guide to IPR in e-learning
  • Discussion of the pros and cons of using Creative Commons licences
  • Useful of tools to help analyse your situation and development needs
  • A collection of common IPR mistakes made by institutions
  • Overview of the relevant technical factors
  • An introduction and guide to Risk Management
  • Discussion of the kinds business models associated with the use of creative commons licences
  • Understanding and assessing the value of learning materials
  • A practical guide to implementing flexible learning (published by the QAA)
  • Tools for understanding and modelling organisational and professional change
  • Policy discussion and development documents for use at institutional and national levels
  • Scenarios/ case studies

The TrustDR (Trust in Digital Repositories) project was charged with developing practical solutions to the problem of managing IPR in collections of digital learning materials. The work was carried out between 2005 and 2007 and was led by Ulster University, Northern Ireland, in collaboration with the UHI Millennium Institute, Scotland.