Graham Cornish provides answers to ten tricky copyright questions in this blogpost. For further detail and answers to 851 other copyright questions see the newly-released fully up-to-date sixth edition of his classic book, Copyright: Interpreting the law for libraries, archivers and information services.
A. Not entirely. If two people create the same thing independently of each other and without actually copying what the other person wrote or made (e.g. two people standing in exactly the same place taking a photograph), then both can claim copyright in what they created, even if they are identical.
Q2. Are things like trademarks and logos protected by copyright?
A. Yes. A logo is an artistic work and a trademark may well be an artistic work and/or a literary work as well. It is possible for a trademark to go out of copyright but still be a trademark as trademarks can last forever.
Q3. Who owns the copyright in a letter?
A. The author – the person who wrote the letter, not the archive that holds the letter or the recipient of the letter
Q4. Can any library make copies of literary, dramatic and musical works for preservation purposes?
A. No. They must be qualifying libraries (those that are publicly accessible, are the libraries of an educational establishment and is not owned by or part of a body which is conducted for profit).
Q5. Do people who appear in photographs have any rights over them?
A. Not under copyright law, but this is an area where particular care needs to be exercised. Although the person taking the photograph (or their employer if appropriate) owns the copyright, the use of that photograph may be restricted by other legal considerations e.g using the image of a famous person to promote a product can lead to claims of loss of revenue because the celebrity would have made a charge for having their name used in this way, even if the copyright in the photograph is owned by the person using it.
Q6. Will 3D printing always infringe copyright?
A. No. Many items that will be copied using 3D will not be protected by copyright e.g. items of crockery such as mugs or DIY materials such as screws or tools. They are protected by either patent or design right, if protected at all, and making a single copy is not an infringement.
Q7. Who owns the copyright in an interview?
A. The speaker owns the copyright in what is said but there is no copyright in the material until it has been recorded. Once it has been recorded the speaker owns the copyright in what has been said, but the person making the recording owns the copyright in the sound recording as such. If the interview is transcribed then the person making the transcription may also be entitled to copyright in their transcription.
Q8. Who is the author of a broadcast?
A. Essentially it is the person who transmits the programme if that person has any responsibility for its contents
Q9. Can databases be copied for private use like other works?
A. No. The exception for copying for private use it to copyright, not database right, and databases may not be copied for personal use. There are rules that enable some copying to take place but not on the same scale as private copying.
Q10. There are lots of websites now where individuals can post their own writings, photos, videos or recordings of songs. Are these protected by copyright?
A. Yes. Anything that you create as an individual and put up on any of these sites, chatrooms or blogs is technically your property.
This blog post originally appeared on the CILIP website.
All of us who put on exhibitions know there is never enough time. Even when dates look good, there are always changes and unforeseen problems. In the run up to the opening, it really does seem to prove Parkinson’s Law – no matter how much time you have, it always seems to go up to the wire.
And then there are the things we forget – did we check the copyright on that item; what were the special conditions of that loan; does a particular lender require immunity from seizure; what light levels do we need?
Here are my top 10 tips for organising a successful exhibition:
1. Good planning and organisation
This is the most important! Make sure you have enough time and people with the right knowledge and experience to carry out the project.
Organizing exhibitions is a process; objects don’t appear on display by magic and every exhibition is the result of planning and organisation. Consider your success factors from the outset and make sure the team keeps referring to them.
Make sure you have enough time for last minute changes or unforeseen problems. Couriers have been known to take their object home if they find the gallery is still being built or the display case is not ready.
Make a list of everything you have to do. It could include design, contracts, loans, transport, customs, licensing, insurance or indemnity, couriers, copyright, display cases, web page, education programmes and marketing.
2. Adequate budget
Money is not the most important thing but you must match your exhibition to your budget. Know exactly what the budget is and stick to it. You can always expand if more money comes in.
Set up good systems for logging objects, loans, dates, etc., and keep track of everything. Sign and date agreements. Keep records.
4. Team work
Every exhibition calls for teamwork. Have one team leader and regular team meetings.
5. Good communication & negotiation
Make sure everyone in the team knows what is happening and when. Talk to each other and have frequent communication with lenders and contractors. Most difficulties can be solved by negotiation.
6. Keep to the schedule
All exhibitions are time-bound, under pressure and with fixed deadlines. Have someone in charge of the schedule who makes sure everything is on time and who can take action if things start to slide.
Make sure the schedule is written down and available for everyone. It should set out all the key stages and milestones of the project with dates and the named responsible person. Activities can be plotted on the chart to make sure programme is on time.
7. Clear areas of responsibility
Make sure everyone’s role is clear so that there are not “too many cooks…” Who is responsible for making decisions and who has the last word?
8. Emergency response
Know what to do if things go wrong. Have the team do a risk assessment at the outset and draw up a response plan. Make sure everyone knows the plan.
9. Good maintenance
Make sure the exhibition looks as good on the last day as at the opening. Peeling labels, dirty marks or broken interactives give a poor message and also reduce visitor enjoyment.
And when the exhibition closes, make sure all the hard work leaves something behind. A website, catalogue, workshop, app or partnerships can all continue to provide benefits long after the items have gone home.
The success of an exhibition doesn’t depend on size, money or visitor figures. Any exhibition can be a success with careful planning and good organisation.
About the author
Freda Matassa is author of Organizing Exhibitions: A handbook for museums, libraries and archives. Whether you organize exhibitions every day or are thinking of doing your first one, help is at hand in Organizing Exhibitions. The book is a simple step-by-step process with all the stages of putting on an exhibition from initial idea to closure and legacy. It’s designed for any size or type of display and makes sure that no key element is left out.
This presentation takes you chapter-by-chapter through the new edited collection from Facet, Annual Review of Cultural Heritage Informatics.