Creative Commons “non-commercial” licensing wins court battle


 

 

 

 

Creative Commons, commonly known as CC, has won a legal battle which disputed one of its “non-commercial” licences and could have threatened the whole CC licensing model.

Creative Commons provides free easy to use standard copyright licences which allow creators to share their work with the general public.  The licence which came into question was the CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 which allows users to copy and share material for non-commercial purposes as long as the original creator is credited.  This licence was used by an American non profit company, Great Minds, which creates high quality educational materials for schools.  Problems arose when a commercial company, FedEx, was asked by schools to duplicate materials for classroom distribution. Great Minds demanded royalty payments from FedEx, however, they refused.  Consequently Great Minds sued FedEx claiming the company was infringing copyright in their materials.

New York judge, Denis Hurley dismissed the Great Minds suit in February 2017, ruling that the CC licence “does not limit a licensee’s ability to use third parties in exercising the rights granted by” Great Minds.  Thus the licence cannot limit a company from being hired to make copies of the materials if the original purpose of the materials is for non commercial use. However, it was found that Great Minds claim was not unreasonable as no court had previously addressed whether or not a commercial copy service could be employed to reproduce materials protected by a CC licence.

To read more about this story see by D Kravets’ article at this link.

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New guidance booklet for PhD students

keeping-thesis-legalIf you are a PhD student and would like to make sure your thesis is kept on the right side of copyright law, then take a look at Loughborough University’s new guide on ‘Keeping your thesis legal’ at this link.

It is packed full of useful information on how to reuse third party copyright material and advice on different types of materials such as figures, maps or photographs.

The Library also runs courses on Copyright and your Thesis specifically for PhD students. The next courses will be held at Loughborough campus on: 6th December 2016 between 9:30 – 11:00am and 2nd March 2017 between 2:00 – 3:30pm. More information can be found here.

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Copyright law has changed for industrially manufactured artistic works

On the 28th July the repeal of section 52 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act came into force. Previously this meant that artistic works which were exploited as industrial designs would only be protected by copyright for 25 years from the first marketing of the product.  After this period the industrial design could be freely copied by others.  For example, if you have ever wondered why cheap copies of Mies Van Der Rohe’s iconic Barcelona chair, can be found on your local high-street, then this is the reason.  However, the repeal brings these works back into line with other artistic works which are protected by copyright for 70 years after the death of the creator.  This means that works which were previously out of copyright will be back under copyright protection. There is a six month embargo period until the end of January 2017 to allow shops and publishers to clear old stock and ensure that any new copies are made with the permission of the copyright owner.  Any copies which are privately owned should not be affected.

This exception will apply to both 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional works, such as wallpaper, fabric, furniture and jewellery where the original design has come from an artistic work that has been copied.  However, one challenge will be identifying what constitutes a  “work of artistic craftsmanship” as there is no statutory definition.  Originally this term was added to the law in 1911 to reflect the change in what was considered to be art and protect works from William Morris’ Arts and Crafts Movement.  Ultimately if the artistic craftsmanship of a work comes into question it will be up to a judge to make the final decision in a court of law. DACS has provided guidance on this area, which is:

  1. A conscious intention to produce a work of art
  2. A real artistic or aesthetic quality
  3. A sufficient degree of craftsmanship and artistry (existing simultaneously)

For further information please refer to this guide issued by the UK’s Intellectual Property Office at this link.

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Creative Commons Image wins Italian Court Case

The contested photo of Federico Rampini at the Auditorium Santa Chiara in Trento for the Festival of Economics. CC-BY-SA 4.0

The contested photo of Niccolo Rampini at the Auditorium Santa Chiara in Trento for the Festival of Economics. By N. Caranti, 2015 CC-BY-SA 4.0

A Creative Commons photo licensed under a CC-by-SA-4.0 licence by professional photographer Federico Caranti has won a court case against the photograph’s misuse (shown left) . Last year the Festival delle Resistenze in Trentino-Alto Adige used Caranti’s photo but failed to attribute the image or release it under the same CC licence as stipulated by the licence conditions. More information about this case can be read here.

 

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Madonna Wins Vogue Copyright Court Case

Madonna

Madonna, reproduced under CC Licence (CC BY-SA 2.0), taken by Jason H Smith, 2010.

The US Court of Appeal has ruled that Madonna’s Vogue did not infringe US copyright law by using a sample of a horn from another track which lasted for less than a second.  The sound of the horn was allegedly lifted from the Salsoul Orchestra track ‘Love Break’ and is difficult to identify without careful attention.

More information on this story can be found on the BBC’s webpage.

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New online course for University Lecturers

Are you a new lecturer or would you like to understand more about copyright in relation to your teaching? Jisc has produced a useful, online copyright course full of videos, scenarios, animations and includes a quiz at the end.

‘Copyright Training for University Lecturers’ can be seen running here http://mitchellmedia.co.uk/jisclegal/ctul/  if you want to try it before download it. Otherwise it can be downloaded from here – http://find.jorum.ac.uk/resources/10949/19261.

 

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Keeping your thesis legal

Pile of documents

By Alexandre Duret-Lutz, 2006. Reproduced under CC Licence (CC BY-SA 2.0). https://www.flickr.com/photos/gadl/320300354

If you are a PhD student and would like to make sure your thesis is kept on the right side of copyright law, then take a look at the guide below produced by the University of Leicester.  Packed full of useful information on how to reuse third party copyright material and advice on different types of materials such as figures, maps or photographs.

Also remember that the Library runs courses on Copyright and your Thesis specifically for PhD students. The next course will be on Tuesday 21st June 2016.  More information can be found here.

Keeping your thesis legal is available at: http://www2.le.ac.uk/library/downloads/copyright/Keeping%20Your%20Thesis%20Legal

 

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Student’s Guide to Copyright

Are you a student and struggling with copyright? Or simply confused with the changes to copyright law?  Then check out this new guide produced by Jisc which will help you to understand how to protect your own work whilst reusing other people’s work legally.  The guide not only explains the relevance of copyright during your studies but also how this knowledge can be applied in the workplace.

If you are simply looking for images, sound or video to re-use without fear of copyright infringement, then look for material licensed with a Creative Commons (CC) Licence.  One of the best places to start your search is on the Creative Commons Search webpage at this link. There are six different levels of CC licence.  To find out what you can do with the image/sound/video that you have chosen then click on ‘Some Rights Reserved’ as shown below in the screen shot (click image to make screen shot larger). This will take you to the licence page for that particular image etc and will explain how it can be reused.

Adapted ‘Victoria Sponge Cake’ by Kelly Hunter 2013, Reproduced under CC Licence (CC BY 2.0). https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monkey Business

Money with a Camera taken by Ross Websdale, 2009 (CC BY NC-SA 2.0)

‘Money with a Camera’ taken by Ross Websdale, 2009 (CC BY NC-SA 2.0)

A photograph of a monkey or monkey selfie is at the centre of an international row over copyright authorship and ownership. British wildlife photographer David Slater, visited the Indonesian island of Sulawesi in 2011 to photograph crested macaque monkeys on a reserve.  After spending time setting up his equipment and gaining the monkey’s trust he managed to get the monkey to press a cable release switch which took a photograph of the monkey.

Wikipedia has since used the monkey selfie on their website claiming that it is a public domain image, however, David Slater says that the copyright should be his.  In the UK, the law states that copyright only exists in material created by humans and as the monkey pressed the camera’s shutter, the image cannot be protected by copyright.  This is a very interesting case as Slater obviously invested considerable time and effort in order to obtain this image.  Furthermore PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) have filed a lawsuit insiting that all proceeds from the sale of the monkey selfie should benefit the monkey,  who they have identified as being six -year-old Naruto.

To read more about this case click here.

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New resource on copyright issues

A copyright evidence Wiki has been set up by CREATE at the University of Glasgow. It brings together hundreds of studies on copyright issues grouped by theme and is being offered as a form of ‘dynamic literature review’.  The developers say it ‘intends to establish a body of evidence that allows better navigation in a contested policy field. Competing claims can be assessed and challenged transparently if the underlying data and methods are revealed’. The resource is available at: http://copyrightevidence.org.

 

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