Copyright & Intellectual Property Rights: Guide to Understanding

Created on: 22 Apr 2007 | Last modified: 22 Apr 2020

Guide for Branch officers - IRP / Copyright Information

Section 1 - Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988

Section 2 - Declaration on Academic Writers and Academic Rights

Section 3 - Understanding Copyright and Intellectual Property Laws

Section 4 - Intellectual Property Laws outside the UK

Section 5 - Useful Contacts



Section 1 - Copyright, Design and Patients Act 1998: Relevant Extracts

1.1 Definition of copyright

Section 1 (1) of the 1988 Copyright Act sets out the basic definition of copyright - "Copyright is a property right which subsists in accordance with ....... in the following descriptions of work:

(a) original literacy, dramatic, musical or artistic works;

(b) sound recording, films, broadcasts or cable programmes, and

(c) the typographical arrangement of published editions.”

Section 3 (2) goes on to explain that "copyright does not subsist in a literary, dramatic or musical work unless and until it is recorded, in writing or otherwise”. There will, therefore, be no copyright until work is set out in writing or recorded in some other form.

1.2 Definition of artistic work

Section 4 of the 1988 Act defines "artistic works” to mean:

"(a) a graphic work, photograph, sculpture or collage, irrespective of artistic quality;

(b) a work of architecture being a building or a model for a building, or

(c) a work of artistic craftsmanship”.

1.3 Authorship and ownership of copyright

Section 9 of the 1988 Act defines author:

"(1) ......... "author”, in relation to a work, means the person who creates it.

(2) That person shall be taken to be ........... in the case of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work which is computer-generated, the author shall be taken to be the person by whom the arrangements necessary for the creation of the work are undertaken.”

1.4 Joint ownership

Section 10 of the Act defines "work of joint ownership” to mean "a work produced by the collaboration of two or more authors in which the contribution of each author is not distinct from that of the other author or authors.”

1.5 First ownership of copyright

Section 11 (1) and (2) say:

"(1) The author of a work is the first owner of any copyright in it, subject to the following provisions.

(2) Where a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work is made by an employee in the course of his employment, his employer is the first owner of any copyright in the work subject to any agreement to the contrary.”

1.6 Duration of copyright

Section 12 states "copyright in a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work expires at the end of the period of 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the author dies, subject to the provisions of the section.”

Section 15 states "copyright in the typographical arrangement of a published edition expires at the end of the period, 25 years from the end of the calendar year in which the edition was first published.”

1.7 Rights of copyright owner

Section 16 defines the acts restricted by copyright in a work

"(1) The owner of copyright in a work has, in accordance with the following ...... the exclusive right to do the following acts in the UK:

(a) to copy the work (Section 17);

(b) to issue copies of the work to the public (Section 18);

(c) to perform, show or play the work in public (Section 19);

(d) to broadcast the work or include it in a cable programme service (Section 20);

(e) to make an adaptation of the work or do any of the above in relation to the adaptation (Section 21);

and those acts are referred to as "acts restricted by copyright”.

(2) Copyright in a work is infringed by a person who without the licence of the copyright owner does, or authorises another to do, any of the acts restricted by copyright.”

1.8 Acts permitted in relation to copyright works

Section 29 of the 1988 Act covers research and private study and states "(1) fair dealing with literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work for the purposes of research or private study does not infringe any copyright in the work, or, in the case of a published edition, in the typographical arrangement.”

Section 32 goes on to deal with instruction and examination and states "(1) copyright in a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work is not infringed by its being copied in the course of instruction or for preparation for instruction, providing the copying:

(a) is done by a person giving or receiving instruction, and

(b) is not by means of a reprographic process .........

(c) copyright is not infringed by anything done for the purposes of an examination by way of setting the questions, communicating the questions to the candidates or answering the questions.”

1.9 Right to be identified as author

Section 77 of the 1988 Act states "(1) the author of a copyright, literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, and the director of a copyright film, has the right to be identified as the author or director of the work in the circumstances mentioned in this section; but the right is not infringed unless it has been asserted in accordance with section 78.”

1.10 Requirement that right be asserted

Section 78 states "(1) a person does not infringe the right conferred by section 77 (right to be identified as author) ...... unless the right has been asserted in accordance with the following provisions ........ (2) the right may be asserted generally, or in relation to any specified act or description of acts:

(a) on an assignment of copyright in the work, by including .......... that the author asserts in relation to that work his right to be identified, or

(b) by instrument in writing signed by the author.”

1.11 Exceptions to right

Section 79 details a number of areas where the right conferred by section 77 is subject to exemptions:

"(2) the right does not apply in relation to the following descriptions of work

(a) a computer program;

(b) the design of a typeface;

(c) any computer-generated work;

(3) the right does not apply to anything done by or with the authority of the copyright owner where copyright in the work originally vested in the authors employer by virtue of section 11(2) (works produced in the course of employment).”


Section 2 - Declaration on Academic Writers and Academic Rights

2.1 Academic Authors Are Communicators

Academic authors communicate and share ideas and information in all media and at all levels of discourse. Their partners in this process include their academic employers, publishers, booksellers and librarians. Their audiences are both within academia and outside the academic community; they are both local and global.

Academic authors aim to exchange knowledge, educate communities, enhance culture, improve research, set and promote norms and standards, and establish peer groups and networks for the benefit of all.

Each stage of this communication process must be fostered and the needs of all participants must be respected.

2.2 Academic Authors Want To Control Their Work

Academic authors create works that are reproduced in books and journals, and in audio-visual and electronic media. In addition to their roles as writers, they act as teachers, researchers and users of the products of academic authorship.

Academic authors are writers with rights and their work has professional and commercial value. They affirm their moral and legal claim to influence and control the whole spectrum of their works, in original and translated versions.

The ability of authors to control the use of their copyright material is the basis for any discussion of rights and remuneration. Control is thus as important as remuneration for authorship.

2.3 Academic Authors Have Contractual Rights

Academic work should be disseminated as widely as possible, making use of the full range of traditional and emerging technologies. At the same time, the legal and contractual framework of academic publishing in the electronic age must be evaluated from the perspective of electronic use. A range of workable contractual models that will meet the requirements of authors, publishers and users (including libraries) must be developed.

A fair balance should be established between the needs of authors, publishers, learned societies, educational institutions, funding and commissioning bodies, libraries and users. The relationships between these partners are essential to the communication process and must be mutually beneficial.

Academic authors have the right to make their work available through any publishing mechanism and they should assert that right.

Academic authors should not be obliged to transfer or assign their copyright to publishers. Instead, all authors, including academic authors, should license the use of print or electronic versions of their works narrowly, i.e. with every use specified and licensed individually, over a fixed term and in defined formats.

Among the issues to be included in academic authors’ contracts with publishers are the following:

Time-sensitive material should have a publication deadline and the author should have the right to license or make other uses of the work if publication is significantly delayed.

Publishers should provide reasonable promotion for an academic author’s work.

Academic authors have an absolute right to information about the further exploitation, sales and marketing of their works.

Reprinting should only be carried out by agreement with the author.

Rights should always automatically revert to authors once material goes out of print (in paper format) or exceeds a contractually stipulated term (in electronic format).

Academic authors support the development of systems that will enable authors and their agents to control, track and protect their works.

Academic authors recognise that publishes and library and information professionals require rapid and efficient systems of rights clearance. It is of immense importance to develop methods of centralised rights clearance for this purpose.

2.4 Academic Authors Have a Right to Fair Remuneration

The use of new methods of production, reproductions, distribution and dissemination is making traditional categories such as "primary publishing”, "secondary publishing”, "in print” and "out of print” inadequate. New definitions are required that will provide for the control, specification and economic separation of individual rights.

Academic authors have the right to distribute their works for free. They also recognise that their works have a market value. If there is a financial reward for that value, authors reserve the right to have an adequate share in it. Authors should feel no constraint in seeking to share financial rewards with publishers.

Academic authors may benefit from journal publication in terms of recognition among their peers, academic preferment and promotion, research funding, consultancies, tenure and salary. Nevertheless, with the changing technology and new business models in academic journal publishing, the tradition of authors not being paid for first journal publication should be reviewed by all interested parties. This has different implications for different journals. Some, notably those published in association with learned societies, are already putting something back into the academic community; other journals benefit publishers alone. In many circumstances, the financial rewards could be shared with academic authors without increasing costs to the user.

Academic authors expect that the new and supplementary uses of their works will result in new revenues, and these should be shared. In their contracts with publishers, academic authors should maintain control of their rights to such uses as photocopying, the sale of off-prints, electronic re-uses in different media, document delivery and printing on demand to produce course packs.

2.5 Academic Authors Have Moral Rights

Academic authors want their names always to be associated with their works. They want to be able to prevent any unauthorised changes that may damage the integrity of their works, and thus affect their honour or reputation. They should assert these moral rights in contracts wherever it is appropriate to do so. All partners in the communication process benefit when the authenticity and integrity of authors’ works are respected.

Academic authors should not be placed under pressure to waive their moral rights. Moral rights should be asserted in material published in print and electronic formats for both journal and monograph publication and these rights should be recognised by all parties and protected in all situations.


Section 3 - Understanding Copyright and Intellectual Property Laws

3.1 The importance of copyright

The importance of copyright should never be underestimated. When you write an original work, copyright is automatically created. That copyright is your "intellectual property”. You have a property right which can also be regarded as a negative right: no one can copy your work without first getting your permission.

3.2 The law governing copyright

There have been copyright laws since the early 18th century. The 1911 Copyright Act was the first comprehensive code and the 1956 Copyright Act encompassed television, radio and film. The relevant legislation can now be found in the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, together with the Directives from the European Union. The 1988 Act applies in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - as well as Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands!

3.3 Other protections

The provisions of the Berne Convention are also relevant. There are now approximately 90 countries that are parties to the Berne Convention (since 1989 they include the USA). The basic principle of membership is that no formalities are required for copyright protection. Further, each state is required to give minimum protection to authors and the protection should be available equally to authors from other member states. It follows that a work published in Britain will be protected under the laws of all member states.

The Universal Copyright Convention is an organisation which can be regarded as running parallel with the Berne Convention. Each state of the UCC has to provide a reasonable degree of effective protection.

By being a member of the UCC all formalities are met by using the symbol © accompanied by the name of the owner of copyright and the year of first publication, all placed in a position giving reasonable notice.

The symbol © is not a necessary formality for any country which has signed the Berne Convention, such as members of the European Union or the USA, although it is still a useful sign to include on all copyright material as it gives an indication as to who owns copyright.

3.4 The essential elements of copyright

Copyright protects the form in which a work is expressed. It will not protect the underlying idea. This concept is usually called the "idea-expression dichotomy”. You should be aware that you will not therefore be able to rely on the law of copyright to protect your ideas.

For a work to be protected by copyright, it must be original. This means that a work should not be merely copied. There must be some degree of work or effort which has gone into creating the work.

Copyright will only apply to a literary work once it is recorded. This is confirmed by Section 3(2) of the 1988 Act.

3.5 Copyright - who owns it

If you write an original literary work, you will be the author of that work.

You will be the first owner of any copyright in the work unless you wrote the work in the course of your employment. (See section 11, 1 and 2, of the 1988 Act).

This means that even though you are regarded as the author, your employer will be the first owner of any copyright unless your contract of employment specifies otherwise.

3.6 "In the course of employment”- what it means

Courts have considered the meaning of "in the course of employment”. Essentially the courts will look at what the employee is obliged to do under the contract of employment. If the work has been created by the employee as part of his/her duties, then that work will be regarded as having been created in the course of employment.

When considering who is an employee, a court will look at all the relevant circumstances:

1. Are the salary and benefits received consistent with employee status?

2. What is the element of control? What hours does the individual have to work? Can the individual choose where to work? Is the individual subject to supervision and direction?

3. What does the agreement say - are the parties labelled as employer and employee? (It should be emphasised that the labels themselves are not conclusive evidence.)

4. Who stands the risk of losses?

5. Is the employer obliged to provide work on a continuing basis?

3.7 Selling copyright

Selling can be through an "assignment” or a "licence” of the work. If you are the first owner of copyright in a work, you can give up the rights of ownership by transferring the copyright or "assigning” it to another party.

Section 90 (3) provides that an assignment of copyright will not be effective unless it is in writing and signed by or on behalf of the assignor.

When you assign copyright, you are giving up your rights permanently. If you wish to use the material again, now or in the future, then consider the possibility of a licence.

There is no requirement for a licence to be in writing. However, a written licence may be preferable because the terms will at least be certain and not open to dispute. If you do wish to use a licence, think about how long it should last, the geographical boundary (are you prepared to license the work in the United Kingdom or Europe or the world?) and also what you wish to license - all rights or syndication rights or a more limited part of the copyright. For example, you may wish to license copyright only in respect of publishing once in a newspaper but retain copyright for other media.


Section 4 - Intellectual Property Laws Outside the UK

4.1 International Distribution

Every publisher which distributes products outside its home territory, or exploits foreign rights, comes into the net of "foreign” IP laws. Most of the time, this has little practical impact. Distribution and licensing contracts are routinely made and carried out.

However, any publisher who has taken legal action abroad to prevent or stop copyright infringement, or who has been on the receiving end of such an action, will have experienced the differences which exist between national copyright laws. For example, in Germany "documentary photographs” do not qualify for full copyright protection because they are not regarded as ‘artistic works’. Before 1963, such photos had no protection at all in Germany. So a UK newspaper could not prevent unauthorised copying of such photos in Germany.

4.2 Differences in copyright laws

Many of the differences stem from the contrast in copyright traditions between ‘authors’ rights’ countries (e.g. Frances, Germany and most of continental Europe) and the Anglo-Saxon world (e.g. UK, Australia). The centre of the authors’ rights world is the personality and reputation of the author. It is for that reason that in ‘authors’ rights’ countries the moral rights of an author - principally the right to be recognised as the author and the right to prevent any detrimental changes to his or her work - cannot be waived by contract. In contrast, such rights are waivable under UK copyright law. It also means that in authors’ rights countries there is usually a higher level of originality or creativity required on the author’s part to that in the Anglo-Saxon world in order to qualify for copyright protection. Even the contrasting expressions ‘droit d’auteur’ and ‘copyright’ convey the contrast.

As we will see later, there are a number of international copyright treaties. However, they only lay down certain minimum standards, leaving it to individual countries to implement their own (often differing) rules regarding copyright ownership, levels of originality for works to qualify for copyright protection and other issues. So the copyright/authors’ right world is built on a system of individual national copyright laws based on these minimum standards of protection and the principle of ‘national treatment’ which is enshrined in these international treaties. This principle means that if, say a US copyright work is copied without the owner’s consent in the UK, the US copyright owner is entitled to take action under UK copyright law to protect that copyright.

4.3 National laws in the digital era

All very interesting, perhaps. However, you may think this is rather academic or even archaic. What are the practical implications for publishers as they move into a new digital era when the World Wide Web, commercial on-line networks and on-line/off-line hybrid products offer the publisher the opportunity to distribute on a global basis?

Some argue that the concept of territoriality in copyright is dead. Picture a seamless copyright globe with no national or legal boundaries. Imagine you can apply to register a global copyright for your works, enforceable through a physical or virtual branch of the World Copyright Court. This may depict a copyright utopia or a vision of ‘1984’. Either way, it reflects neither present nor future political or legal trends.

Cross-border distribution of publishing products and services, in both physical form and on-line, is an increasing feature of today’s publishing world. So protecting, managing and enforcing rights requires a clear understanding of how national copyright laws are coping, or being adjusted to cope, with this new world. For example, if a journal or book is mounted on a server in the UK, and is then accessed by servers around the world and downloaded, are the copyright laws of every single country implicated? Can a contract for on-line distribution be enforced in all the countries in which the product or service is made available?

4.4 The Publishers’ Copyright Mantra

The mantra for these legal and contractual issues is ; "Think global, act local.” Rights need to be cleared and enforced locally i.e. in each country in which the copyright/restricted act (e.g. copying or re-transmission) takes place. This is equally true of the act of mounting a work on a server connected to the Internet as it is of photocopying pages of a journal or book.

These are the issues which we will look at in more detail in this article. We will begin by looking at the bedrock of international conventions, how they are going to be changed and how copyright and other content-related laws are working in the digital era. We will also consider whether contracts provide an alternative mechanism to copyright, enabling publishers to ignore differences in national copyright laws.

Although many changes in copyright law are likely at both an international and regional level, the underlying principles of national laws and national treatment are not likely to change. In other words, although we will see a significant movement towards harmonising national copyright laws, particularly within the European Union (EU), the publisher will still need to think locally in protecting and enforcing rights.

4.5 International Copyright Conventions

There are four copyright conventions - the Berne Convention (the most well-known), the Universal Copyright Convention, the Rome Convention and the Geneva Convention. These are administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). The first two deal with authors’ rights; the Rome Convention deals with the rights of performers, phonogram producers and broadcasters and the Geneva Convention also deals with phonograms. As noted earlier, these lay down certain minimum standards of protection to be given by convention countries under their national laws. As they only lay down minimum standards, the copyright laws of countries provide greater (and varying) protection than that required under the conventions.

A full WIPO Diplomatic Conference took place in Geneva in 1996 at which two treaties were adopted - the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performers and Phonograms Treaty. A third treaty on Intellectual Property in respect of Databases was removed from the Agenda because it was considered by some to be premature but a resolution was passed to continue work on it. The two adopted Treaties must now await ratification. Many of the provisions of these two Treaties are declaratory. They confirm that existing copyright law applies to new technology. However, some of the provisions are new. Here are just a few of the proposed changes:

To confirm that computer programs are protected as literary works (already the position under English copyright law).

To confirm that collections of data (databases) are protected by copyright if there is sufficient intellectual creativity in the selection and arrangement of their contents. This mirrors the recently adopted European Union Directive for the Legal Protection of Databases (the "Database Directive”) which has harmonised the copyright protection under the national laws of EU member states, and is due to be implemented in the UK by 1st January 1998.

There is a separate proposed WIPO Treaty to introduce a new non-copyright right to protect the contents of databases. Again, this mirrors the new ‘sui generis’ right introduced by the EU Database Directive. This will be a key right for database producers.

To treat the interactive on-demand acts of communication (whether via the Internet, other networks or by ‘non-wired’ means or in digital or analogue form) as an act of ‘communication to the public’, thereby requiring the copyright owner’s consent.

To expressly include within the Berne Convention a right of distribution and importation. Although on-line delivery via the Internet or the WWW will be classified as part of the communication to the public right rather than as distribution, this is still an important provision. For example, if a software program or electronic newsletter is downloaded from the Net, any subsequent distribution of a copy of that work in tangible form (whether print or electronic) will be caught by that provision.

Article 13 of the Copyright Treaty requires Contracting Parties to introduce legislation which will make it unlawful to import, manufacture or distribute "protection-defeating devices”. These are any hardware or software devices designed to circumvent copyright-protection systems. For example, if publisher is providing an on-line subscription-based service to deliver a newsletter on-line which is protected by encryption or by some other access-control system, any software or hardware device which enabled a user to gain unauthorised access to that service would break such law. There is already legislation to that effect in the UK’s Copyright, Designs & Patent Act 1988 but that is not typical of national copyright laws generally.

There were a number of points of controversy which arose during the Conference. The Copyright Treaty, in its draft form, contained an article (7) which made it clear that digitising a work, and holding it in memory, is covered by the act of reproduction. It stated that the reproduction of their (i.e. authors of literary and artistic) works shall include direct and indirect reproduction of their works, whether temporary or permanent, in any manner of form.”

There was a second part of that article which was intended to enable Contracting Parties to meet the concerns of telecommunications companies, access providers and electronic equipment manufacturers. It would have allowed Contracting Parties to exclude from copyright protection mere "technical copying” which was incidental to some other authorised purpose. The problem was that no consensus on the wording could be achieved which satisfied the concerns of those parties. As a result, the whole article was deleted.

This does not mean that digitising, storing or displaying a work on screen is never protected by copyright. Many people argue that the existing Berne Convention already covers it. In certain national copyright laws, temporary copying in electronic form is expressly covered. However, it does mean the situation remains uncertain in those countries whose copyright laws do not specifically cover the point. The issue remains open at an international level. However, it will soon be considered in Europe when the European Commission publish its proposals to harmonise aspects of copyright law. This is discussed below.

Despite the scope of these draft Treaties, there are significant issues which are not addressed by them and which are therefore left to individual Convention Countries to determine. One of the most important is the issue of liability for copyright infringement on the part of service providers. The telephony companies are worried that the terms proposed for authors’ rights (and the rights of performers, broadcasters and phonogram producers) in respect of temporary reproductions (e.g. in the course of on-line transmission) and ‘communications to the public’ could give them and other network operators unquantified liability for the actions of their users and customers.

At a global level, the Agreement On Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (the so-called ‘Trips’ Agreement which was part of the recent Uruguay Round of GATT) also laid down certain minimum standards for protecting intellectual property. Apart from copyright, it also extends to other intellectual property rights, including trade marks, industrial designs and patents, and the control anti-competitive practices in contractual licences. It also added teeth to these minimum rights by imposing certain obligations for the enforcement of intellectual property rights.

At a regional level, a significant amount of harmonising legislation has been introduced within the EU designed to "approximate” aspects of the copyright laws of member states. The basis for harmonisation is that differences between the copyright laws of member states can distort or prevent the free movement of goods and services - the raison d’être of the European Community. The areas covered to date are the term of copyright protection, rental and lending of copyright works, provisions relating to cable and satellite protection. There are further changes in the pipeline within the EU.

Following its Green Paper on ‘Copyright & Related Rights in the Information Society’ published in 1995, the European Commission is now looking at a number of key copyright areas for further legislative action. These include the treatment of on-line transmissions and the scope of exceptions to the copyright owner’s exclusive reproduction right (e.g. should any form of private copying be allowed?).

4.6 The Internet

Let’s return to the example of a journal or other copyright work (e.g. a directory) mounted on a server in country A which is accessed via the Internet and stored (temporarily or permanently) on servers in countries B and C and downloaded from them by users. How does the ‘think global, act local’ mantra work in practice?

The starting point is to localise the copyright acts involved. To begin, the digitising/reproduction of the work on to the server in country A will take place in that country. Next, the act of making the work available on the server in country A will also take place in that country. The act of making available will, presumably, be carried out in country A by the person who makes the arrangements for the uploading of the work onto the server so that it can be accessed by the public. So the person who is the owner of the copyright work under the laws of country A will be the person whose permission is required to digitise the work and make it available on that server.

Now let’s look at the position in countries B and C. Does the granting of permission by the owner of the rights in country A for the acts taking place there mean that all subsequent acts which take place in countries B and C are outside the owner’s control? In the case of works made available via the Internet, the answer is "no”. Subject to any exceptions to copyright infringement applying in countries B and C (e.g. copying reasonable extracts of works for the purpose of private study), the permission of the person who owns the copyright in the work under the laws of countries B and C would be required for the acts of downloading and copying which take place there. Assuming that the publisher has retained world-wide rights, it will therefore own the rights in all three countries.

This is obviously a simplistic analysis. The first owner of the rights may have licensed rights for individual territories. There may be intermediaries involved. Also, owning the rights is one thing, enforcing them is another. This is where technology, through encryption, digital numbering and ‘watermarking’ of works, and other copyright protection systems, will all have a role to play. But it does at least illustrate how the principle of national laws operates in practice.

Also, as on-line services develop, there will be an increasing demand for ‘one-stop shop’ rights clearance arrangements, especially in the audio-visual industries but, no doubt, in the information industries as well. So in the above example, a host in country B may control the server in country A and may therefore wish to clear the rights applying in both countries.

A number of rights clearance models will develop. These will range from individually-negotiated contracts between the copyright owner and the user through to clearance arrangements via collecting societies and other bodies. Some will be mandated by members to set royalty rates; others will only administer rights at rates pre-set by the rights owners.

4.7 The Way Ahead

At every level - international, regional and national - legislators are struggling to put in place the appropriate changes to intellectual property laws. It is no easy task. It is a delicate balancing act. Copyright and related rights owners understandably call for all-encompassing rights in view of the ease with which works can be copied and distributed via the internet. Users, on the other hand, call for exceptions and limitations to avoid a regime which creates a form of copyright censorship. In related fields, legislators are looking for ways to eliminate differences between national laws. The European Commission recently published a Green Paper on Commercial Communications. "Commercial communications” covers all forms of advertising, direct marketing, sponsorship, sales promotion and public relations promoting products and services. Rightly, the Commission sees new forms of commercial communications as playing a central role in the "Information Society”. Many argue in favour of a "country of origin” rule under which the product of service (for example, an advertisement) is only required to comply with the applicable advertising laws of the home state. Thereafter, it mat be freely circulated with the EU.

Meanwhile publishers face the formidable challenge of managing the development of electronic products and services whilst maintaining their ‘print on paper’ businesses. That’s probably quite enough to handle without the added complications of coping with a rapidly-changing legal environment. Just remember the general rule for managing legal rights - "think global - act local”.


Section 5 - Useful Contacts

5.1 The copyright in higher education workgroup (CHEW)

There are a growing number of problems in the access to and use of teaching materials in higher education (and further education) in the United Kingdom. In particular, restrictive conceptions of copyright and the privileging of the interests of publishers have led to the replacement of traditional copyright notions of "fair dealing” with expensive and cumbersome user-pay turnstiles.

To bring these issues to the attention of all members of the academic community and to work for reform of the current regime, a new group, the Copyright in Higher Education Workgroup (CHEW) has recently been formed.

The first project has been to establish a website that focuses on a range of copyright issues in education. This site includes the results of a recent survey about the effects of the Higher Education Copyright Accord (4) on teaching and learning in UK universities and puts forward various analyses of HECA. CHEW’s first campaign is directed at the reform/repeal of HECA when it expires in January 2001.

To encourage discussion and debate over copyright issues in education, CHEW has also established a Mailbase discussion list entitled "Copyrights”. The list and archives of past messages are accessible from the above website. You can also send a message to the list by e-mailing:

Although the initial members of CHEW are UK legal academics, the group wants to address copyright issues in other disciplines and work with those individuals and groups interested in reform. Our main focus at present is on the problems that have been created for the provision of course (study) packs and the operation of Library short loan (reserve) collections.

CHEW are also interested in hearing from academic colleagues in other countries who may face their own copyright-related issues.

Those individuals and groups who maintain copyright-related websites are welcome to add a link between their own site and CHEW’s site. CHEW would like to be informed if you insert such a link and will reciprocate. CHEW itself can be contacted by e-mail at: specifying CHEW in the subject line.

5.2 The EU/IPR-Helpdesk (Intellectual Property Rights).

After nine months’ operations, the EU’s IPR-Helpdesk has found its feet and is now becoming established among participants in EU-funded research. It is aimed at providing assistance on issues concerning the protection and exploitation of intellectual property. Some key developments are outlined below.

These services are offered free-of-charge to those involved in the 4th Framework Programme and those considering participation in the 5th Framework Programme.

Being aware of the various legal problems which arise during the life of EU-supported RTD projects, and in particular those related to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), the European Commission (4) offers through this service assistance tailored to the needs of participants such as yourself.

A multilingual team of experts works full time answering specific queries from RTD participants on issues such as:

The different contractual problems which occur in RTD projects:

Interpretation of EC model contracts

Contractual situation between the RTD participants within a project

Establishment of consortium agreements

The different issues concerning the management of IPR assets:

Protection of IPR assets

IPR issues with regard to the EC Contracts such as the different Access Rights

Aspects of patent strategies and international implications

Exploitation of IPR assets such as Licensing

If you wish to make use of this one-to-one service, please register the details of your RTD project on the Website.

In addition, information dealing with many IPR issues is available on the Website ( They also publish a free monthly IPR newsletter, ‘IP-Wire’, via the Website.

Developing understanding of IPR issues in the new Model contract:

As deadlines for the first round of Fifth Framework Programme calls for proposals come up, interest in the new Model Contract, expected to be published imminently, is intensifying. The IPR-Helpdesk is currently preparing a booklet which examines the IPR and exploitation aspects of the new contract.

Designed for ready access and maximum readability, the booklet is aimed at assisting those currently preparing or negotiating proposals for EU-supported research projects, by clarifying the rules relating to IPR, the dissemination and use of research results and the rights and obligations of participants as defined in the Model Contract.

To reserve your copy, please e-mail:



EIS-ULA acknowledge the help and assistance of the following in compiling this booklet:

1) Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (The Stationery Office)

2) Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (

3) Journalists & Copyright by Clive Howard, National Union of Journalists

4) New Media Update: The Simkins Partnership

5) David Denoon, Northern College of Education

Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, April 1998

NUJ Journalists & Copyright by Clive Howard

New Media Update: The Simkins Partnership 1997