UP hosts seminar on copyright compliance, with the topic Fair dealing and use of Creative Commons Licenses in Education and Research

Posted on July 01, 2022

It is easy to unknowingly infringe copyright.  Activities such as pasting, uploading, photocopying, scanning etc. could amount to copyright infringement if one does not obtain a licence from the relevant copyright owner or if one’s activities do not fall within fair dealing of the material. In order to avoid a potential infringement, it is essential to understand what a copyright is, what the rights of a copyright holder are and what constitutes an infringement.

The UP Department of Library Services (DLS) hosted a virtual seminar on copyright compliance. The aim of the session was to assist writers, academics, visual artists and other creators to identify potential misuse and infringement of copyright. The seminar was facilitated by scholarly communications and copyright consultants together with one of the leading copyright collective management organisations in South Africa, the Dramatic, Artistic, and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO). Panellists included: Mr Rahiem Whisgary and Mr Monde Mngoma of DALRO, independent scholarly communications and copyright consultant Mrs Denise Nicholson and Dr Chijioke Okorie of UP who facilitated.

It is rather easy to unknowingly infringe copyright in educational and creative materials.  Activities such as pasting, uploading, photocopying, scanning etc. could amount to copyright infringement if one does not obtain a licence from the relevant copyright owner or if one’s activities do not fall within fair dealing of the material. In order to avoid a potential infringement, it is essential to understand what a copyright is, what the rights of a copyright holder are and what constitutes an infringement.  Copyright is a bundle of exclusive rights granted by law for a limited period to a copyright holder for their original work. This right allows the holder to reproduce, publish, adapt and include the work in a TV show, film or broadcast. The right need not be registered but accrues automatically once the work is created. In South Africa, the right lasts for the lifetime of the author of a work plus an additional 50 or 70 years depending on the nature of the work. This duration helps to ensure the enjoyment of the right by future generations of the copyright holder’s family. Copyright holders include visual artists, authors, playwrights, publishers and heirs of estates.

Individuals and organisations that desire to use a work without infringing a copyright can acquire a licence from organisations such as DALRO. As discussed during the seminar, an application made to DALRO for the use of a work should include details such as: the course module which the work is being used for, type of dissemination, number of copies being made etc. Once confirmed, a quote for the royalty amount will be issued to the copyright user. One can obtain individual or blanket licences for works such as plays, musicals, visual arts, poems, newspaper articles, books etc. This process creates an opportunity for creators of works to be fairly compensated for their intellectual property and incentivises them to continue creating bodies of knowledge and literature. Well-known artists which DALRO continues to represent include: Andrew Verster, Cecil Skotnes, George Pemba and Blessing Ngobeni.

Researchers, staff and students at UP also create and author materials which may be copyright-protected. They can therefore be eligible to become members of organisations like DALRO and authorise DALRO to administer and manage copyright in their works. If you would like to register your works with DALRO and possibly receive royalties for the use of your works, visit www.dalro.co.za.

At UP, the Department of Library Services does offer guidance to both students and staff members on the fair dealing with copyright-protected works and how to access, copy, and use research published under a Creative Commons licence freely. The use of Creative Commons licences offer faculties an opportunity to make free and varied uses of copyright-protected materials. To create an academic environment that utilises literary and visual works with integrity, UP encourages students and staff to interact with information and art with honesty, trust, respect, fairness and responsibility.

Copyright best practices

The UP Technology Transfer Office is also available to offer legal advice on copyright related matters. They also draft and peruse copyright assignments and licenses. They work very closely with TuksNovation to ensure that both staff and students’ ideas are protected.

The Tech Transfer Office is always ready to assist and they can be contacted on 012 4205303. For more information about incubation, Phindile Tshabangu, the Tuksnovation Centre Head, can be reached at [email protected]

Teaching staff who intend to include copyrighted material in course packs/study packs such as a compilation of articles or extracts from books on ClickUP pages, other e-learning platforms or for distributing in classrooms must first check if the material exists by searching the online library databases, or select from a list of databases. If the material is not available, they can send the request to the Information Specialist for Copyright Clearance by the Copyright Officer.

The best practice to comply with the copyright law on ClickUp pages or e-learning platforms is to link to the library material such as eBooks and articles by providing a link, permalink, or DOIs (Direct Object Identifiers). Teaching staff can refer students to library databases and subject guides to search from a wide range of information resources. Teaching staff can collaborate with librarians within e-learning spaces as they are the subject experts who can guide and support teaching and learning with relevant class content for assignments. The Department of Library Services offers copyright clearance services to all teaching staff at UP.

 

- Author Puno Selesho
Published by Hlengiwe Mnguni

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