Don’t let copyright take over your life – follow this advice instead

Georgia O'Keefe publicity poster showing white poppy painting

This week I visited the Georgia O’Keefe exhibition at Tate Modern. No photographs allowed. In the other rooms you could take photos (no flash) so by uploading Monet and Rothko here am I breaking copyright law?

img_1686 img_1685

What about the photo of the shop selling copies of O’Keefe’s paintings – a copy of a copy of a copy….

wall of O'Keefe paintings in the Tate Modern shop

Monet has been dead 90 years. Rothko for 46 years. These are my own photographs. When, where and how does the 50 year rule apply?

Did the Hargreaves Review (2011) really say educational usage is exempt from copyright law?

What’s the difference between Fair Use and Fair Deal?

Fair Use applies to the US. Fair Deal is the UK legal term for whether the use of copyright material is lawful or infringes copyright.  It takes a brave person to venture in There is no statutory definition of fair dealing – it will always be a matter of fact, degree and impression in each case.’ from Exceptions to copyright: Education and Teaching, from the government’s Intellectual Property Office.

red circle with black C for copyright and a red

Copyright is the law most often broken. We’e all done it. Taken images from the internet for presentations and resources. If they’re already in the public domain then it’s ok isn’t it? We’re in a hurry and the image is just what we want and who’s going to know anyway!

I don’t pretend to have the answers. Copyright confuses me as much as anyone. So I’ve given up trying to know it and have changed my approach instead. If you’re also perplexed by the whole copyright issue this might help. If it’s something you’ve never thought about, it might help too.

  1. Where ever possible take your own photographs. These are free to use without worry. It gets complicated if they involve other people so try not to – if unavoidable ask for permission to put them online.
  2. Go to collections of copyright free images. Pixabay is a great place to start with https://pixabay.com/
  3. Use Google’s Advanced Image Search (under the options cog top right or click here and bookmark the page). Select from the drop down menu against Usage Rights. Free to Use or Share is safest but there are other options too.
  4. Wikipedia can be your friend. Most of their images are in the public domain. Click onto any image to see its copyright information. Take care with their use of the term Fair Use. This is US coyright law. In the UK we have Fair Deal and it is different.
  5. Beware thinking Fair Deal protects you. See the quote above from the Intellectual Property Office.

White I was in London I noticed outside the British Museum was a telephone box with a mattress inside. No one was taking any notice but I stopped to photograph it thinking it might be useful one day.  It’s become a habit and this is the problem with copyright. It can take over your life if you let it. So don’t and follow the advice above instead!

red phone box with a mattress inside

 

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What’s your excuse?

pencil sketch of a bar of soap and a box

I’m in that cleft stick again. The one called accessibility. That’s my stick in the corner. On its own. Because most of the time we don’t think about it – don’t talk about it – and with exception of a small band of colleagues from across the sector – we don’t much care about it either 😦

I’m drafting a policy document for the use of Panopto. I can’t say the words (Shhhhh lecture capture) because that colours how people see the software. It influences usage. In the way VLE’s get used as digital depository dumps, recording 50 minute lectures is making minimal use of the affordances as well as being poor pedagogical practice. Try it yourself and see. Choose an online lecture. Unplug your speakers, turn off your sound and be sure to concentrate…

For the last decade multimedia has been challenging the supremacy of text. Yet for all the speed and variety of digital content, there isn’t a one size fits all method for getting messages across. This is the century of communication. Toffler called it the Third Wave. An information age following an agrarian and industrial/technological age.

blue information symbol

The 20th century has bought an obsession with the collection, curation and communication of information. Now in the 21st we have big data and learning analytics. It can only get better (or worse depending on your ontology). I’m unconvinced by this new data revolution. Its rhetorical promise is like the hyperbole heralding the arrival of the VLE and look where that got us.

The grating sound is the soap box being dragged out.  Early this year I presented the keynote at a Making Research Count Conference at UCL. The theme was living and working in digital times and included barriers to digital access. Feedback included this – which says it all…

Digital inclusion/exclusion was a huge topic about 5 years ago, but seems to have been forgotten somewhat now and, yes, it’s still so important.

Digital exclusion is invisible. With digital platforms of the public sphere those denied equality of access are neither seen nor heard. People agree social exclusion is a big issue (which it is) and digital divides are important (which they are) but when it comes to doing something then the whole shebang is seen as being outside of their remit. Let’s bring it closer to home.

drawing of a digital divide between ipad and paper

How are you getting on with the recorded lecture with no sound?

It’s a new academic year. The DSA has changed. Institutions have to consider the principles of reasonable adjustments. Software like Panopto is being hailed as a convenient answer but unless textual equivalents are provided how can it be?

I wave the digital inclusion flag with regard to online learning and teaching content but it’s lonely out here. Sort of invisible. It would be so much easier if we were all in this together but other people don’t seem interested. There’s always an excuse or it’s the responsibility of someone else. They talk the talk but don’t do anything about it.

Accessibility isn’t to be put aside until there is more time. The future will never have enough time. It will be exactly the same as it is today. It’s 2016. Equality has been a legal requirement since 1995. Part of the problem – I think – is how digital inclusion gets side-lined into being a disability issue rather than a fundamental digital capability leading to best practice and experiences for all.

We need to talk!

Why we should

  • It’s a legal requirement (Single Equality Act 2011)
  • The law takes a proactive approach – content in alternative formats should be provided not requested  Universities have to make reasonable adjustments
  • Inclusivity improves access for everyone (not just people with disabilities, international students, etc etc)
  • Multimedia is a valuable learning tooI
  • access is explicit in the sconul 7 pilliars of information literacy through a digital lens
  • It will enhance learning

Why we don’t

  • We don’t realise any of the reasons why we should
  • TechDis has been disbanded
  • It isn’t an explicit element of the Jisc digital capabilities framework
  • We’d know its important and would love to but…  we haven’t got the time, resource, money, skills, capacity, interest – fill in the blanks.

So what’s your excuse? What are your thoughts? Do you agree? Disagree? Lets get a conversation going and make 2016 the year for virtual inclusion.

Tweet @suewatling and #digitalinclusion

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digital divide image from http://www.idgconnect.com/IMG/082/17082/digital-divide-india1157-620×354.jpg?1412145199 
information symbol https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/47/Simple_Information.svg