[JISC] Intellectual Property

Charles Oppenheim
de Montfort University

The following consistutes the text from the slides used by Prof. Oppenheim. The full text of his talk is also available.


Right to prevent third parties from copying (and doing certain other things) to the copyright material without permission

To obtain copyright

Material must be NEW

Material must be FIXED

Types of copyright

Literary, musical and dramatic works
Sound recordings
TV broadcasts
Cable TV programmes
Artistic works
Typography in printed works

There is protection for the works, but not for ideas

Copyright is automatic

No need to register
No need to pay fees
No bureaucracy
Simultaneously created world-wide

Literary Works

Other types of copyright

Term of Copyright

Usually author's life + 70 years, but there are exceptions - J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan, crown copyright, anonymous works, computer-generated works, photographs, published editions, previously unpublished works, sound recordings, films, broadcasts...

Copyright Ownership

Usually the creator, but if created by an employee in the course of his/her employment, copyright automatically belongs to the employer

Academics' copyright under the law

Teaching materials - belong to HEI

Textbook - belongs to academic

Research output - arguably belongs to the HEI

Restricted Acts

Issue copies to the public
Rent or lend copies
Perform, show or play
Broadcast the work
Show on cable programme
Adapt or amend


Direct infringement

Authorise infringement - this includes running the organisation in such a lax manner that copyright is not respected

Penalties for infringement

Damages based either on damage caused or profits gained
(In rare cases) criminal offence
Injunction to prevent further copying
Delivery up of offending copies

Is what you copied substantial?

What if the material copied were missing from the text?

Fair dealing

Is it for one of the permitted purposes, e.g.. research or private study?

Is it fair?

It must pass both tests

Moral Rights

Moral Rights cannot be assigned, but they can be waived

International Copyright

Reciprocal protection

Irrelevant where material was created, what counts is where the copying or other action takes place

Problems in a networked world

Internet and Electronic Copyright

Ease of copying materials
High quality copies
Ease of distribution on the Internet
Low cost copying
Difficulty in policing
Different countries' rules on copying

Internet copyright

Everything on the Internet is copyright
No implied licence to copy
Individual facts can be copied
(But does it matter if you do copy?)

Two Internet copyright cases

Shetland Times versus Shetland News

TotalNews case

Copyright conclusions

If you are a creator and are worried about being ripped off - don't put it up on the Internet

If you are a user, request permission if what you are copying will form part of a commercial product, or if you plan to redisseminate; if you plan to download or browse for private research, probably OK to go ahead

Registered Trade Marks

Unregistered Trade Marks (Trade Names)
Passing Off

Not as strong protection as for Registered Trade Marks
Simply means passing off your goods and services as though they were someone else's

Domain Names


Trade Mark Strategy

Keep a regular search on WWW sites for potential infringement

Facing the Legal Challenges of Providing Internet Access in HEIs
Organised by The JISC with support from UKOLN