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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Happy Birthday song

A US judge has told the company collecting royalties to “Happy Birthday to You” that it does not a valid copyright to the song.

The tune was composed by two Kentucky sisters in 1893, who called their version, Good Morning To All, which later evolved into version that is now sung at birthday parties around the globe. The copyright was acquired by Warner/Chappell in 1988.

The judge has ruled that the original copyright was only granted for the song, not for the arrangements of the music. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out!

For more information click on this link.


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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:


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Looking for Old Images?


National Library of Ireland, 1961

Searching for black & white, vintage or just plain old photographs? Then take a peek at New Old Stock the latest search engine to retrieve vintage images from public archives which are free from known copyright restrictions. All images are available for personal or non-commercial use and some have more generous usage terms.

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Deadline for Submitting Digital Scan Returns

Yes it is that time of year again when we need to collect the details of all the digital scans which have been used in teaching over the last academic year and send them to the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA).  Please can all CLA scan coordinators send their scan returns to Charlotte Greasley or Alison Ashmore by Wednesday 3rd June 2015.

The details which we need in order to complete the CLA’s spreadsheet are as follows:

  • Course code
  • Number of students on the course 2014/15.
  • ISBN or ISSN of the item digitised
  • Title of the book/journal
  • Year (and volume number if it is a journal article)
  • Author of book or author of article
  • Page numbers from and to
  • Who owns the book or journal e.g. the academic, the university

If you have any questions about what should or should not be included then please contact either Charlotte or Alison.

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Pharrell’s not so Happy!

On 11th March 2015, it was announced that Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke lost the copyright case against them with the jury deciding that their hit, Blurred Lines copied music from Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit Got to Give It Up. The courts awarded damages to the Gaye family of around $7.4M.

Find out more about the case and listen to the songs yourself at this link:

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Intellectual Property Office launches new online training


Image from Flickr reproduced under CC-BY-2.0 licence by Mike Linksvayer, 2012








The Intellectual Property Office has launched a suite of online training modules on intellectual property including, copyright, trademarks, designs, patents and trademarks.

The modules are an ideal introduction for anyone wishing to learn the basics about intellectual property and the information is delivered in a fun and interesting way using illustrations and facts.

Have a look for yourself at this link:

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New online copyright resource for writers, visual artists, musicians & interactive developers


Copyright User Org1

Copyright User is the latest online resource to be launched focussing on UK copyright law.  It aims to make copyright accessible to creators, media professionals, entrepreneurs, students and the public. The resources have been specifically designed for writers, musicians, visual artists, interactive developers, filmmakers and performers. Copyright User provides information on how to protect works, licence and exploit works and how to legally use other people’s work.

Visit the resource here:

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More new copyright law

At the beginning of October the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (1988) was amended again. More copyright-exceptions have been altered or added, some of which have a bearing on the work of Loughborough University.
s 30 (Criticism, review, quotation and news reporting)
This exception now allows you to reuse a work ‘fairly’ without permission from its copyright-owner for the purpose of quotation (as well as for criticism, review and news reporting). Note that:

  • ‘fair’ is not defined and is a matter for individual judgement (and in the last resort for the judgement of the courts);
  • you may only quote published works in this way, not unpublished ones;
  • a quote may be “no more than is required by the specific purpose for which it is used”;
  • you must acknowledge (i.e. cite) what you quote;
  • if you are using a work under licence (such as an online journal article paid for by the University Library), you have the right to quote it in this way whatever the licence says.

This exception applies to the quoting of other people’s work in work of your own (whether published or unpublished, examined or unexamined). The purpose of a quotation is left unspecified: it need not necessarily be for criticism or review; it could be for a much looser illustrative or indicative purpose, provided that it is ‘fair’ in the circumstances.
s 30A (Caricature, parody or pastiche)
This is a new exception and (at the moment) is very open-ended. It allows you to reuse a work ‘fairly’ without permission from its copyright owner “for the purposes of caricature, parody or pastiche”. Note that:

  • ‘fair’ is not defined and is a matter for individual judgement (and in the last resort for the judgement of the courts);
  • if you are using a work under licence (such as an online journal article paid for by the University Library), you have the right to parody it in this way whatever the licence says.

This exception is probably of most interest to members of the School of the Arts and of the Department of English and Drama.
s 28B (Personal copies for private use)
This new exception is intended to allow private individuals to make copies of copies of works that they own (e.g. making an MP3 copy of a tape-cassette copy of a piece of music). It has no direct bearing on the work of Loughborough University. For more information, see JISC Legal.

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