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#1 Russel Tarr

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 03:13 PM

Here are two scenarios - does anyone know what the copyright laws are in relation to either or both?

1. I take the old VHS videos I currently have in the department and convert them to digital format, then save them in the school intranet so students can watch them during exam revision periods

2. I take very short (c. 20 secs) extracts from feature films and put them onto the internet for other teachers to use and watch

No-one here at school has the foggiest idea what the law says on these things...I'd love to know exactly where I stand!

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#2 Carole Faithorn

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 03:27 PM

We have talked about copyright issues before - and have agreed how very grey this whole area is.

In the thread here Andrew gave links to a number of potentially useful sites relating to copyright issues.

My guess is that Idea 1 is OK (because viewing restricted and for educational purposes within your own school), but that Idea 2 is an infringement of copyright since you are proposing to make clips of films made for commercial purposes available to a world wide audience.

#3 Andrew Field

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 05:14 PM

Carole is completely correct on both counts. The former is fine because this is akin to creating another copy to show on video, but the latter breaks copyright law. When you start having lots of people playing the videos from your website (as schools with faster and faster connections will do), the expense in bandwidth with be horrendous. Even if your current provider doesn't monitor bandwidth, they would soon have something to say about it - especially if you consider streaming videos on the internet.

It would be very worthwhile using Flash MX for such clips though - immense reduction possiblities - 23MB to 2MB and suchlike.

With many companies knowing there is money to be made from digital based film in history lessons (such as Nelson Thornes and Channel 4), many media organisations would be very likely to enforce their copyright. However, this might mean there are opportunities to join together with some of the less well know video distributors to offer something together online.

Good to hear from you Russel - good to be back!


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#4 neil mcdonald

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 05:50 PM

I had similar queries about this (point no. 2) but rather on an intranet basis - my idea was to get clips of films and allow students to edit them to produce sound overs/narrations to teach interpretations - how does this stand?
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#5 Andrew Field

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 06:27 PM

That's fine - you aren't trying to sell them, you aren't making them publicly available - this is the equivalent of creating a collage out of newspaper cuttings.

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#6 Stephen Drew

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 06:32 PM

That's fine - you aren't trying to sell them, you aren't making them publicly available - this is the equivalent of creating a collage out of newspaper cuttings.

:pirate:

That is an excellent analogy.

I suppose you could also say that it is like putting a title on a picture on a PowerPoint slide, or putting speech bubbles on the people in a photo.
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#7 JohnDClare

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 06:57 PM

Copyright on the web is much less defined than copyright of printed material.
(The web should be copyright free, but who dare take the risk - a £20,000 fine concentrates the mind wonderfully!)

As for the two ideas:
1. Be careful! VERY dangerous, especially depending on what you are considering reproducing. Many films start with an explicit statement that the film is not for showing on oil rigs/ schools etc., and - despite Andrew's confidence above - I suspect that the fact that you were reproducing the whole thing would be regarded as pertinent. I once considered giving pupils copies of relevant material videod from the TV/ copied from tapes I had bought, but pulled back on advice from my senior management - it only needs one aggrieved or malicious parent. I think an important factor might be whether you were depriving someone else of a (potential) legal income by publishing this material.
2. I suspect the 'clips' idea might in the long term less dangerous (the firm's barrister is going to have take into account whether a jury is going convict). That you are using them for educative purposes is VERY pertinent. You are using very small clips for illustrative purposes only (cf the printed word, where you do not even have to get permission for small quotes from a book). It is relevant that what you are doing is not for pecuniary gain, and it is arguable that what you are doing is a form of free advertising for the firm.
I have not the technology or ability to put in clips, but where I have put long quotes from current publications, or scanned-and-adapted pictures from current books, I have written to the publishers, explained what I wanted to do, explained that it was small-scale, for educative purposes, non-pecuniary, and 'for the kiddies'. I have offered to put an advert on the site for the book, and pointed out that therefore they are getting free advertising and all the cuedos of helping an educative web-site.
In some cases, I have told them what I have DONE already, but said that I would happily remove the offending material of they objected. Sometimes I have just been ignored - which would be regarded as a tacit yes in a court of law. Sometimes I have got a yes, or a yes-with-restrictions.
One possible approach with the clips idea therefore would be to publish one, write to the copyright holder telling them what you have done (and giving them the URL to see it), asking them please to tell you quickly if they object to this, so that you might cause them no offense and remove the clip immediately. If you really were a scaredy-cat, you could write to them, telling them what you intended to do on a certain date (and giving them a preview URL to see what you intended) - but still make them have to opt out, not opt in.
PS - all advice offered absolutely without prejudice!!!
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#8 Andrew Field

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 07:16 PM

VERY dangerous, especially depending on what you are considering reproducing. Many films start with an explicit statement that the film is not for showing on oil rigs/ schools etc., and - despite Andrew's confidence above - I suspect that the fact that you were reproducing the whole thing would be regarded as pertinent. I once considered giving pupils copies of relevant material videod from the TV/ copied from tapes I had bought, but pulled back on advice from my senior management - it only needs one aggrieved or malicious parent. I think an important factor might be whether you were depriving someone else of a (potential) legal income by publishing this material.

Interesting points. When we had the previous discussion about copyright - follow the link Carole gave above - I mentioned about the videos that explictly state about where and when it can be viewed. I see your point about the potential problems in distributing videos to students, but if you were to allow students to view the videos on the school intranet, technically all you are doing is showing a video (only one, as there is just one on the server) but with lots of televisions attached. This, together with the fact they are on your school intranet, where you can make doubly sure they types of videos that are available are those which are more copyright friendly (e.g. the BBC Bitesize etc.), then I feel you can be confident in the intranet use.

I still feel the 'publicly available' nature of the internet based materials is an important factor.


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#9 Juan Carlos Ocaña

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Posted 08 June 2003 - 12:41 PM

Copyright on the web is much less defined than copyright of printed material.

Copyright law concerning the web is yet to be fully tested in the courts. As far as other media is concerned there is something known as "fair trading". The basic idea behind this is that you can use a small part of an original work as long as it does not reduce the income of the copyright owner. For example, a quotation from a book in a newspaper is ok as it is more likely to increase sales of the book. Under European law copyright lasts for 70 years after the death of the author/artist, etc.

Films do not seem to have a "fair trading" agreement. For example, I know that is is very expensive for documentary makers to use clips of feature films. So Russel I expect the answer is no.

This has been written by John Simkin (I was using the computer that Juan Carlos was using yesterday).

Edited by jocana, 08 June 2003 - 12:44 PM.


#10 John Simkin

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Posted 16 June 2003 - 08:43 AM

Interesting incident yesterday on this topic. I had an email from a photographer complaining that he owned the copyright of an image on my page on my website:

http://www.spartacus...co.uk/FWWm5.htm

In fact the picture was part of a book cover that I was advertising. When I pointed this out he apologised. In fact, he was unaware that the book publisher had used his photograph for the book jacket.

#11 Sheridan

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Posted 16 June 2003 - 12:47 PM

With my librarian hat on, I would agree that the issues surrounding copyright in schools are very complex. Each year, the Corpyright Licensing agency sends me a list of excluded categories and works, along with all the current legislation. The key thing for you is that the school itself is covered for any errors you may make. My Media Resources manager is charged with the task of dealing with copyright issues in any school publications, worksheets etc, as well as the intranet and website.

I find that if there are any grey areas, and there are many (including newspapers, scores, etc) it is useful to telephone what used to be the Library Association, but is now CILIP. If your school librarian is a chartered librarian, they have free access to advice on these issues, from people who really know their stuff. Their webpage is here:

http://www.cilip.org.uk/

Under "information services" there is an electronic information request form. I'm sure they will help you. As i say, the important thing is to make sure that you and the school are covered. I know from working in many university libraries, that institutions can and do get fined!

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#12 Richard Drew

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 08:03 PM

what are the rules/conventions (are there any) regarding putting information on a website regarding GCSE coursework topics?

i want to set up a GCSE coursework section on my new site, but don't want to fall foul of any rules/procedures regarding advice on the skills the pupils have to deploy, information pupils can use in their work and descriptions of what is required to achieve high marks.

can anyone offer advice?
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#13 JohnDClare

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 08:32 PM

As for YOUR pupils, you have to declare the website and all in it as a provided source of help when you submit the coursework - it constitutes assistance for them.

Rather unfairly, for pupils from every other school in the country, it constitutes research, and you can post whatever you like with impunity.

Strictly, if you are posting Board-devised coursework, you are breaking copyright, and they could fine you huge amounts, but I hardly think that is likely - your argument would be that you were posting the stuff for your pupils only, and that it amounted to no more than photocopying the Board assignments for your pupils to take home. I (and other sites) have put up a few Board-devised courseworks and I've never been challenged.

#14 Nichola Boughey

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 08:53 PM

You could always direct students to the exam board specific websites which have coursework specifications and information on them in pdf format!

#15 Dafydd Humphreys

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 09:11 PM

As for YOUR pupils, you have to declare the website and all in it as a provided source of help when you submit the coursework - it constitutes assistance for them.

Rather unfairly, for pupils from every other school in the country, it constitutes research, and you can post whatever you like with impunity.

Strictly, if you are posting Board-devised coursework, you are breaking copyright, and they could fine you huge amounts, but I hardly think that is likely - your argument would be that you were posting the stuff for your pupils only, and that it amounted to no more than photocopying the Board assignments for your pupils to take home. I (and other sites) have put up a few Board-devised courseworks and I've never been challenged.

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