Confused by copyright? In the dark about IPR?

JISC News release 7 April 2011

Confused by copyright? In the dark about IPR?

A new elearning module from the JISC-led Strategic Content Alliance is to help update people dealing with intellectual property rights in universities, colleges, museums, libraries and other public bodies.

Access the module at

The module will help them understand the implications and roles of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and licensing – all crucial to their institution’s role as a provider, aggregator and/or publisher of digital content.

After completing the module, they will be better able to create, exploit and manage digital content with confidence, and most importantly, using a risk managed approach.

To help make these complex areas more understandable, the module is divided into six learning objects with supporting case studies, video and animation:

  1. Introduction to IPR and Licensin
  2. Creative Commons Licences
  3. Orphan Works and Risk Management
  4. Digital Economy Act
  5. Accessing and Using Third Party Content
  6. Protecting and Managing Rights

Naomi Korn, one of the authors of the resource, said: “The module has been developed to directly address those people in institutions who may be new to the issues around intellectual property rights and licensing or for those who want to learn more about specific issues. We anticipate that people will want to customise, reuse and share the information so it is has been developed in an open source platform and the content licensed under Creative Commons licences, making the resource as flexible as possible.”

The module supplements and forms part a range of products and tools to support the management of IPR created by the Alliance.

Sarah Fahmy, manager of the Strategic Content Alliance, said: “Whilst there is little current case law, the education sector risks reputational damage and loss of trust with publishers and other rights holders in the event that copyright and other IPRs are not handled appropriately.

“Universities and colleges need support to ensure that their own rights are adequately protected, contractual agreements with any funding bodies are upheld and the ramifications of using digital content for which rights holders are unknown or cannot be traced – so called ‘orphan works’ – are thoroughly considered.”

The module has been developed for the Strategic Content Alliance by IPR consultants Naomi Korn and Emma Beer, and by Robert Stillwell and Dr Neil Witt in the department for technology enhanced learning at Plymouth University.

Access the module at:

Read more advice and guidance on IPR and related issues through the toolkit:

Stay up to date with the Strategic Content Alliance at:

Addendum 15 August 2011

The Government has decided to endorse all the recommendations made by Professor Ian Hargreaves outlined within his independent review of Intellectual Property (IP) and Growth.

The fundamental aim of the consultation was to identify barriers to growth within the IP framework, which consists of the rules and regulations covering how IP is created, used and protected in this country. Using evidence based responses, its aim was to create a picture of how well the current IP system serves to help promote entrepreneurialism, economic growth, social and commercial innovation.

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