In this post, CREATe Researcher Bartolomeo Meletti shares details about recent improvements to CopyrightUser.org.
CopyrightUser.org is an online resource aimed at making UK copyright law accessible to creators, media professionals, entrepreneurs, students, and members of the public. CopyrightUser.org has recently been improved by the addition of two useful resources:
- Exceptions for Disability, by Laurence Diver and Burkhard Schafer (University of Edinburgh, School of Law)
- Exceptions for Libraries, by Chris Morrison (University of Kent) and Jane Secker (London School of Economics and Political Science)
The commentary by Laurence Diver and Burkhard Schafer explains how UK Copyright Law allows a disabled person to make a copy of a copyright work for personal use, and libraries and other authorised bodies to make accessible copies for people with disabilities. It also illustrates the complex relationship between the copyright exceptions for disability and Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems. The new Disability section is a really important and much needed addition to the Copyright User resource. The Copyright User team is currently exploring the possibility of producing an audio version of this new commentary, with a view to making the whole website CopyrightUser.org accessible also to people with disabilities.
The guide by Chris Morrison and Jane Secker is aimed at the wide range of staff working in libraries and information services, and helps them understand the copyright exceptions that apply to their work. In particular, the new Libraries section explains under which conditions librarians can supply copyright material to their users and other libraries, and replace material in their own collection. The guide has been very well received by the sector, contributing to the constantly increasing traffic to CopyrightUser.org: the day after the resource was published (7th July 2016), the website generated 638 sessions (244 of which on the new Libraries page) and 1,121 unique page views, attracting 590 unique users. These new visitors add to the over 155,000 unique users attracted by CopyrightUser.org since its launch in March 2014; of which more than 110,000 visited in the last 12 months only (since July 2015).
The success of the copyright guidance for librarians confirms that producing accessible resources that respond to the specific knowledge needs of the different creative and cultural sectors is the right way forward for the Copyright User project. The Copyright User team is currently developing new sector-specific copyright guidance aimed at archivists and curators, creative SMEs, music writers and composers, photographers and illustrators, and young filmmakers.
The new commentaries and the accompanying original illustrations by Davide Bonazzi, as well as all the content of CopyrightUser.org, are free for everyone to reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY 3.0).