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Final report: MIDESS WP7

Intellectual property issues in institutional and cross- institutional multimedia repositories

Mary Cordiner MIDESS Project Officer, UCL SSEES Library


The MIDESS Project is a JISC project funded under the Digital Repositories Programme. MIDESS explores the management of digitised content in an institutional and cross-institutional context through the development of a digital repository infrastructure. The project addresses how support can be provided for the use of digital content in a learning and research context, in an integrated manner. The partners in the project are the University of Leeds, University of Birmingham, London School of Economics (LSE) and University College London (UCL).

This work package, based at UCL SSEES Library, looks at the intellectual property rights and other relevant considerations in educational settings, particularly as they affect institutional and cross institutional multimedia repositories. The term 'multimedia repository' is purely used as a shorthand way of referring to any repository software that manages content in image or multimedia formats, such as digital video files or audio files. Traditionally repositories have managed text files, however it is increasingly common for repositories to manage a wide variety of content in different file formats. The term is not however, used to designate a distinct type of repository as it is expected that increasingly most repositories will manage multimedia content of some form.

The terms of current UK copyright duration are tabulated and include reference to the 1956 Act. An overview of intellectual property rights and related rights, based on the Acts, and documents from many sources, formal and informal discussion lists is given together with a summary of the provisions for the higher education sector. The report also considers licensing schemes, particularly Creative Commons end user licensing and the ERA scheme which licenses the recording of some UK broadcasts. International conventions and directives as they relate to UK law are briefly considered.

Intellectual property rights are generally considered technology neutral. The introduction of provisions for communicating to the public, making illegal the circumvention of technological protection measures and protecting electronic rights management systems seems to signify a shift to differences in protecting digital works. New intellectual property rights may be created in repositories not

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