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Icepops 2019: Fear-Free Music

Post by Janet Burgess, PhD researcher at CREATe

Photo by Anne-Lise Harding

Just back from Edinburgh and the very informative, and entertaining, Icepops 2019 (or ‘International Copyright-Literacy Event with Playful Opportunities for Practitioners and Scholars’ to give it its full pedigree).  Devised and run by the dynamic duo, Jane Secker and Chris Morrison from UK Copyright Literacy, with CREATe as one of its sponsors, it aims to promote copyright literacy through fun and imaginative means, and it certainly lived up to its own high standards.  Full details of this year’s programme are available here but included music-related copyright issues, expertly outlined by keynote speaker Dr Simon Anderson from Audio Network (who gave a CREATe Public Lecture in Glasgow in 2017, contributed to the Copyright User resource Going for a Song, and was also instrumental in setting up the Lost in Music resource).

Stephanie Farley from the University of Edinburgh guided us through a team exercise to devise an educational board game in just one hour, while nine World Café presenters, predominantly from university libraries and including Glasgow’s own Greg Walters, explained the games and resources they had developed to help their academic customers understand and follow the complexities of copyright.  Several intrepid speakers took up a Pecha Kucha challenge as a new (to me) way of delivering a presentation, while the more conservative amongst us presented five-minute lightning talks across a range of copyright-related subjects, including my own ‘Fear-Free Music’.  My research into amateur musicians and copyright law has identified that ignorance and confusion about the law are contributing to excessive fear of potential consequences in some quarters, which could be reduced by clearer explanations and through games and apps which guide the players through the copyright maze.

The evening event in the student union’s Teviot Bar was memorable on so many levels but we were still able to appreciate a guided tour of Edinburgh’s St Cecilia’s Hall and Museum the following morning, and to participate in the inaugural meeting of the International Copyright Literacy Community of Practice.  This is an exciting initiative and the CREATe team is delighted to support it.  Finally, congratulations must be passed on to the developers of, which was highly praised by attendees at the event.  Watch out for next year’s Icepops event!