Category: Information law

Comprehensive guide to freedom of information and its management

Layout 1Facet Publishing announce the publication of The Freedom of Information Officer’s Handbook by Paul Gibbons.

Freedom of information (FOI) is now an international phenomenon with over 100 countries from Albania to Zimbabwe enacting the right to know for their citizens. Since 2005, the UK’s Freedom of Information Act has opened up thousands of public bodies to unparalleled scrutiny and prompted further moves to transparency.

The Freedom of Information Officer’s Handbook is a comprehensive guide to FOI and its management. It is designed to be an indispensable tool for FOI Officers and their colleagues. It includes:

  • a guide to the UK’s FOI Act, the right to know and the exemptions
  • clear analysis of the most important case law and its implications for the handling of FOI requests
  • pointers to the best resources to help FOI officers in their work
  • explanations of how FOI interacts with other legislation, including detailed explorations of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and how the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation impacts on FOI
  • a look at requirements to proactively publish information and the effect of copyright and re-use laws on FOI and open data
  • comparisons of the UK’s Act with FOI legislation in other jurisdictions from Scotland to South Africa
  • an exploration of the role of the FOI Officer: who they are, what they do, their career development and what makes them effective
  • suggestions on how to embed FOI within an organisation using effective procedures, technology and training
  • a stage-by-stage guide to processing requests for information.

Jon Baines, Data Protection Advisor at Mischon de Reya LLP said ‘Several years ago Paul Gibbons ‘outed’ himself as ‘FOIMan’– until that point an anonymous commentator on Freedom of Information, and subject of much speculation as to his identity. Since then Paul has established himself as one of the leading experts in the field. I’m delighted he has now cemented this position with the first book which really meets the needs of and challenges facing FOI practitioners. Paul has an easy and approachable writing style, but a formidable knowledge and rigorous research lie behind that.’

Paul Gibbons is an independent consultant and trainer specialising in information rights. He is best known for his FOIMan blog which he began writing in 2010 reflecting on his own experiences of implementing FOI in three very different public authorities: the Greater London Authority, an NHS Trust in south-east London and SOAS, a college of the University of London. Before getting involved in FOI, Paul completed a Masters in Archives Administration at Aberystwyth University, going on to work for many years as a records manager in the pharmaceutical industry, local government and in the Houses of Parliament. He was later awarded an LLM with distinction in Information Rights, Law and Practice by the University of Northumbria.

Find out more about the book here.

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Information Rights for Records Managers

Facet Publishing have announced the release of Information Rights for Records Managers by Rachel Maguire, Records Manager and Data Protection Officer at the London School of Economics.

Information Rights is a term covering legislation that allows the request of information from a public sector organisation. This book will help records managers, information managers, archivists and librarians who find themselves with responsibility for managing information rights at their organisations.

Information Rights for Records Managers goes through the big three – Data Protection, Freedom of Information and the Environmental Information Regulations – but also the other legislation in this area that covers how to respond to requests for information. For those acting as an organisation’s expert in this area, this book will point to all the needed legislation.

Content covered includes:9781783302444

  • Freedom of Information – based on the UK and Scottish Acts, how
  • to recognise a request and to how to draft a response
  • Data Protection Act (DPA) to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – the evolution from managing personal data under the old UK DPA to the new requirements of the GDPR and new UK DPA
  • Data Protection requests – managing requests for and relating to personal data from data subjects
  • Data Protection enquiries – covers the likely enquiries you will get from staff relating to data protection, including privacy notices and data protection impact assessments
  • Environmental Information Regulations – based on the UK and Scottish Regulations, how to recognise and respond to requests for environmental information
  • Records management – the basic methods of managing records so that you can easily respond to information rights requests
  • Resources – links to the resources available online to help you with your information rights work.

The book will be useful reading for anyone who has responsibility, or is interested in taking on responsibility, for managing information rights in organisations including records managers, archivists, librarians and information managers. Its introductory nature will also mean that it will be very useful students and new professionals seeking to increase their knowledge.

Rachael Maguire is the Records Manager and Data Protection Officer at the London School of Economics, covering records management, data protection and freedom of information. She has been working in the fields of information management and information rights for two decades, mainly in the public sector. She has a Masters in Information Rights Law, is a Fellow of the Information and Records Management Society (IRMS) and on the Accreditation Sub Committee of the IRMS, as well as on the Editorial Board of the Records Management Journal.

Information Rights for Records Managers | 224pp | paperback: 9781783302444 | £69.95 | hardback: 9781783302451 | £139.95 | eBook: 9781783302468

The book is published by Facet Publishing and is available from Bookpoint Ltd | Tel: +44 (0)1235 827702 | Fax: +44 (0)1235 827703 | Email: facet@bookpoint.co.uk | Web: www.facetpublishing.co.uk. | Mailing Address: Mail Order Dept, 39 Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4TD. It is available in North America from the American Library Association.

10 copyright conundrums clarified by Cornish

Graham Cornish, author of Copyright: Interpreting the law for libraries, archives and information services, provides this guest blogpost. All week we have been publishing blogs from the authors of our copyright books in the lead up to the CILIP Copyright Conference on Friday (tickets still available!).

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Image source: ‘Folklore NullElf: burning copyright’ by Flickr user Martin Fisch https://www.flickr.com/photos/marfis75/


Copyright: Interpreting the law for libraries, archives and information services
has been a first port of call for library and information staff for 27 years and is now in its 6th. edition. Often referred to as “Cornish on Copyright” it aims to be a one-stop reference tool to answer specific questions posed by readers, staff and anyone needing to copy or publish something. Deliberately designed as quick-reference tool, it avoids legal jargon and leading the user into the arcane underworld of the complexities of copyright law.Copyright, 6th edition

Copyright is a dynamic topic, despite the glazed look on some people’s faces when the word is mentioned and is at the heart of our profession. Like Janus, we look both ways: protecting the rights of the owner whilst maximizing access to information for our users. The consequence of this is that no book can be totally up-to-date and the law and its interpretation are changing all the time. Just as this edition went to press the High Court struck out a whole clause as the consultation on its content was deemed inadequate. We are still working out the implications of changes to the law relating to surface design of manufactured items. That hideous teapot that looks like an elephant and is your auntie’s pride and joy may suddenly have more significance in copyright terms that it did 12 months ago!

Here are the answers to ten tricky copyright questions taken from the book (which also contains the answers to 851 other copyright questions!).

Q1. Why is copyright so often ignored by users?

A. Because it is such an intangible thing, there is often a temptation to ignore it. Those who take this approach forget that they, too, own copyright in their own creations and would feel quite angry if this were abused by others.

Some of the restrictions placed on use by the law may seem petty or trivial but they are designed to allow some use of copyright material without unduly harming the interests of the creator (author). With the rapid growth of social networks, individuals are becoming more aware of the value of their creations such as photos and poems.

Q2. When does a work based on another work become original?

A. When sufficient time, effort, technical skills and knowledge have been used to make it reasonably clear the work is a new one and not merely a slavish copy.

Example: If you write your own poem about Jack and Jill, it is protected. If you simply reproduce the well known nursery rhyme with one or two minor changes, the reproduction is not original and not protected – but if you photocopy or scan the poem the typographical arrangement may be protected.

Q3. Who owns the copyright in children’s work in schools?

A. Despite the general myth that it is owned by the school, the child who creates anything in school owns the rights in it and it cannot be used for any purpose without the child’s (or guardian’s) permission.

Q4. What is the difference between a literary and a dramatic work?

A. A dramatic work is the non-spoken part of a presentation, which gives instructions as to how the play is to be executed. The words of a dramatic work are protected as a literary work. The term ‘dramatic work’ also covers choreography, dance and mime.

Example: A show like West Side Story has separate copyrights in the words (literary work), the choreography and the directions (dramatic work) and the music (musical work).

Q5. Who owns the copyright in a collection of images?

A. Each image has its own copyright just like the articles in a periodical. However, there will also be a copyright in a compilation made up of images. It may also be a database depending on the way the collection is put together.

Q6. Who owns the content of a sound recording?

A. It is very important to distinguish between the copyright in the sound recording and the copyright in the material recorded.

Example: A recording of a song by the Beatles has all sorts of copyrights – the song, the music, the arrangement and the performance. In addition, there is a copyright in the actual sound recording, which is quite separate.

Q7. Is it permitted to show films and DVDs in libraries?

It is permitted only if they are viewed by one person at a time through dedicated terminals where others cannot watch at the same time. Showing them to groups, even for educational or children’s use, requires a licence either from the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC) or Filmbank.

Q8. Who is the author of a database?

A. Apart from the fairly rare occasion when a database has a personal author, the author is defined as the maker of the database. The maker of a database is the person who takes the initiative in obtaining, verifying or presenting the contents of the database and assumes the risk of investing in those actions and therefore obtains the database right.

Makers cannot qualify for this right unless they are individuals with EEA nationality, or companies/organizations incorporated within the EEA, or partnerships or unincorporated bodies formed under the law of an EEA state.

Q9. Is all material on the web copyright?

A. Probably. To be safe, behave with material on the web as if it were in paper form. If you would not copy or distribute it in paper form, then do not do so in electronic form, unless the owner specifically states this can be done, which many website owners do.

Q10. Who owns the copyright in a work bequeathed to a library or archive?

A. There is a special additional exception for unpublished works. When an author leaves unpublished manuscripts or other materials of which they are the author to a library, archive or museum as a bequest, and their will does not specify any other arrangements, the presumption is that the copyright is also transferred to the library, archive or museum.

They may specify differently in the will; if they do, this will affect the way the unpublished material can be used. If the work is deposited by the author during their lifetime or deposited by the family but copyright is not assigned to the library or archive, then copyright remains with the author or their heirs and successors.

The author is always keen to hear from users of the book and additional information that could usefully be included.

Graham P Cornish

Graham@copyrightcircle.co.uk

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Copyright and e-learning: 6 tips for practitioners

facet-copyright-classics

This guest post from Jane Secker and Chris Morrison originally appeared on the CILIP blog last year to coincide with the publication of the second edition of Copyright and E-learning: a guide for practitioners.

We are re-publishing the blog now in the lead up to the CILIP Copyright Conference on Friday 7th April at which both Jane and Chris are speaking.

About the book

The book covers copyright law and its relationship to e-learning or onCopyright and E-learning, 2nd editionline learning. It is designed to be read by practitioners and so it tries to offer pragmatic advice on a range of topics issues from digitising orphan works, to lecture recordings, the use of social media and MOOCs. We tried to write the book in a jargon-free easily digestible way, to hopefully make it a practical guide for learning technologists, but also teachers, lecturers and other learning support staff in higher education, schools, further education and even in a workplace learning setting, where online learning is used extensively.

Six tips for practitioners

We’ve taken six key ideas from the book’s conclusion, which we feel are really important to helping you approach any copyright issue:

1. Everything is about risk

Realize that everything is about risk and there are ways of mitigating the risk. For example, devising helpful and timely education and training programmes, but also having institutional policies such as notice and takedown policies on the VLE or any online platform where content can be shared. You will need to decide how comfortable you (and your institution) are towards risk if you decide to rely on copyright exceptions, or are not sure whether a licence covers what you wish to do.

2. Break down any copyright query into its constituent parts

Break down any copyright query into its constituent parts – what type of copyright works does it concern, how will they be used, are there any licences that might apply and finally could a copyright exception come into play? This inevitably requires developing your own technical knowledge to tackle these queries and we’ve provided numerous examples of further resources and training that might help you in the book.

3. Use empathy

Use empathy – in any given situation understanding what someone is actually trying to do when they approach you with a copyright query is helpful. However empathy is important from both sides so try to get the person to think about what the creators and rights holders of a work had in mind too. Ideally this will help you put your copyright support work in context and frame it as a collaborative enterprise.

4. Understand that there is lots of great ‘stuff’ available for free

Understand that there is lots of great ‘stuff’ available for free or under liberal licence terms, such as Creative Commons. Many people are happy to share their work with you provided they are credited, particularly when it’s for educational use, but recognize that there are often good reasons why some content costs money or is not available to you.

5. Recognize that good manners go a long way

Recognize that good manners go a long way – asking nicely, giving credit and building creative networks are a fundamental component of education and research. Over time you can build up your network of contacts, and often knowing the right person to ask will give you access to a wider network of resources which can be used at little or no cost.

6. Remember, you are not alone

Remember, you are not alone. It’s easy, particularly if you are faced with a tricky copyright situation to feel you are expected to know all the answers and this clearly isn’t going to be possible and no one is an island. So build up your support network, both within your organization and externally, and get to know a few copyright experts who can help you out when you get stuck!

Find out more

If you’d like to find out more about the book you can visit our website where we have made the list of further resources available. You can also find out about some of the copyright education initiatives we’d been involved in recently. If you are interested in hearing more about some of the challenges related to copyright and e-learning, you may also wish to listen to the recent podcast we recorded with James Clay. We also plan to make the sixth chapter from the book, on copyright education, available on open access.

About the authors

Since the book was published in June 2016 Jane and Chris have been busy. Jane started a new job at City, University of London after Easter as Senior Lecturer in Educational Development and Chris is completing his Postgraduate diploma in Copyright Law at Kings College London. Jane and Chris are presenting at the CILIP Copyright Conference, Jane is keynoting at CILIP Wales in May 2017 and both Jane and Chris are keynoting at CILIP Scotland conference in June in Dundee. They will be speaking about their research into librarians experiences of copyright in their professional lives.

Work is also continuing apace to develop educational games for copyright education. Copyright the Card Game is being adapted for US law and a prototype of the game has been produced by Paul Bond a librarian at University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown campus. There is also work being undertaken to develop an Irish and Canadian version of the game. Chris and Jane are also demonstrating a prototype of their new game, The Publishing Trap, at LILAC 2017 on 10-12 April in Swansea. This game was the runner-up in the Lagadothon games competition and is aimed at early career researchers to help them understand the choices they make about scholarly communication and sharing their research.

What are the main copyright challenges you face? Let us know in the comments

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The 2014 changes to copyright law were welcome, but there’s still unfinished business to attend to

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Image source: ‘Copyright license choice’ by Flickr user opensource.com https://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway

This guest blog is by Paul Pedley, author of Practical Copyright for Information Professionals.

The year 2014 was significant for librarians interested in copyright law, because it marked the culmination of many years of lobbying for the law to be changed to take into account the needs not only of rightsholders, but those of copyright users too.

The library exceptions were completely rewritten (apart from one exception relating to lending of copies by libraries or archives); a number of new exceptions were introduced such as one for parody, pastiche and caricature, and another for the purposes of quotation; and some of the existing exceptions were amended to ensure that they couldn’t be overridden by contracts.

The extent to which libraries, museums and archives are able to benefit from these changes will in many ways be dependent upon their attitude towards risk. Here are some examples of how libraries and museums have made use of the new or amended exceptions:

  • A national library has provided sound recordings to individuals who aren’t able-bodied and who are unable to visit in person.
  • A number of libraries in the higher education sector are now content-mining sound recordings.
  • A national museum has used the dedicated terminals exception to provide access to digitized papers which are too fragile to be displayed.
  • Museums are using the preservation exception to make digital copies of their collection items.
  • The library of a musical conservatoire has used the illustration for instruction exception to reproduce excerpts of sheet music and audio tracks and upload these to the VLE.
  • A number of libraries have been receiving copyright declaration forms electronically, which has been of particular benefit to distance learners.

While these changes were welcomed by libraries, there is still plenty that librarians would like to see changed. The “London Manifesto” was drafted by LACA, the Libraries and Archives Copyright Alliance. The manifesto calls for fair copyright reform for libraries and archives in Europe. One of the wishlist items in the manifesto is an “open norm”. This would allow for copyright users to benefit from technological innovations straight away because it would be a more flexible exception than the ones we have at the moment, whilst respecting the rights that copyright holders have. It would be possible to do so, because the exception would be subject to the Berne “three-step test”. Meanwhile EDRi believes that a modernised copyright regime is needed, one which takes into consideration the needs of all parts of society, including creators. They have a list of “copyfails” which include digital rights management systems restricting lending and borrowing of books and music in digital format; and not allowing research using text and data mining where this is for a commercial purpose.

The problem, of course, is that every year government departments have to compete with one another to get parliamentary time to implement legislation; even when there is a will to do so. The sheer complexity of Brexit will inevitably mean that there will be a lot of other things that will take priority over and above changes to copyright law. All of 9781783300617which would suggest that we should look on the 2014 copyright changes as a significant achievement, and after all the effort that went into bringing about those changes libraries should ensure that they make full use of the benefits that those changes brought about.

Paul Pedley is currently at City, University of London studying for a PhD on Protecting the privacy of library users. He is the author of several Facet Publishing books including Practical Copyright for Information Professionals (2015). He tweets as @priv_lib, and blogs at www.libraryprivacyblog.wordpress.com.

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Practical Copyright for Library and Information Professionals

The UK’s copyright legislation has been referred to as the longest, most confusing and hardest to navigate in the world. Pedley Practical copyright COVER 01Practical Copyright for Library and Information Professionals brings clarity to what would otherwise be a complex topic. Author Paul Pedley provides sensible and realistic guidance for all library and information practitioners. Fully up-to-date with the changes to copyright law in 2014/5, the book covers the following key topics:

  • the copyright exceptions or permitted acts most relevant to library and information professionals
  • lending of print and electronic copyright materials
  • the range of licensing solutions available to ensure that the use of copyright works is done in compliance with the law
  • the options available for making copies of orphan works (such as where this is done as part of digitization projects)
  • an exploration of how information professionals working in the corporate sector can copy material legitimately, and highlights where this differs from practitioners working in not for profit publicly accessible libraries.

Practical Copyright for Library and Information Professionals is an indispensable guide for library and information professionals; it will be useful for academics and researchers, and it will also be essential reading for anyone wishing to use copyright material legitimately.

Up-to-date guidance on the complexities of copyright legislation for archivists and records managers

What is copyright? Who owns it and for how long? What rights does it confer, and what are the limitations and exceptions?

Copyright for Archivists and Records Managers uniquely outlines copyright law in the UK with special reference to materials relevant to archive and records collections such as maps, legal records, records of local authorities, records of churches and faiths, most notably unpublished works. It also offers advice on rights in the electronic environment and the problems associated with rights clearance; and covers related areas such as moral rights and rights in databases.Padfield_Copyright for archivists 5e_COVER

The fifth edition of this respected work has been extensively revised and updated to include:

  • a description of the major changes to copyright exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives, including changes to library and archive copying for users and the declaration, changes to preservation copying and a new exception permitting on-site access to digital material
  • a major revision of the sections on copyright exceptions, including descriptions of the extension of preservation copying to museums, orphan works schemes, education, parody, text and data mining, quotation and private copying
  • information about dealing with copyright, including acknowledgements and liability,a new small claims procedure in the courts of England and Wales, and which courts have jurisdiction over an infringement on the internet
  • consideration of the many copyright cases that have come before the courts that have provided help with the interpretation of many aspects of the legislation; including the meaning of ‘transient and incidental’, ‘scientific research’, ‘parody’ and ‘originality’; whether hyperlinking infringes copyright; and the relationship between the rights of a copyright owner and freedom of speech.

Tim Padfield said, “I am sorry that archivists and records managers keep having to buy new editions of this book, but a book on the law is of no use if it is out of date. In this case the law has changed very significantly since the previous edition, particularly for those working with archives and records and in libraries, educational establishments and museums. I hope it will continue to be useful”.

More details about Copyright for Archivists and Records Managers and a free sample chapter can be found on the Facet website.