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4. Good practice

A number of practices will minimise the risk of infringing intellectual property law:

For material to be included in a multimedia repository:

  • Risk appraisal and a management strategy

  • Checking copyright status of material, including where necessary tracing

rights holders and seeking their consent

  • Recording attempts to seek permission to display material

  • Licensing material

For those managing the multimedia repository

  • At output deciding how material will be display and used

  • Having clear policies in place for terms and conditions in the use of material

A number of papers have covered aspects of good practice in the e-learning environment and many of their tips can be used in multimedia repositories. (See JISC legal website and references)

4.1 Risk management

Before placing material in a repository, or making the material available, it is essential that a risk management strategy is in place. This strategy will identify the types of risk and liability to which an institution’s repository is exposed and how they will be managed.

The types of legal risks that may be found in multimedia repositories include:

  • copyright Infringement and related areas including moral rights

  • infringement of database right

  • infringement of design rights

  • infringement of performing rights through access to broadcasts, sound

recordings and films

  • Defamation or derogatory treatment

  • Breach of data protection

  • Breach of confidentiality

These risks may be assessed according to the likelihood of their occurrence, the likely consequences and the acceptability of their occurrence. If the risks do occur then a remedial course of action should be available in a clearly stated policy.

It is worth noting that selection of material by administrators will expose the establishment to legal liability.

This has largely been viewed as the risk of the institution breaking the law but equally the risk should be viewed from the exposure of the establishment to piracy by users of the repository breaching conditions of use and consequently the law. The institution should have a strategy in place to cover this eventuality.

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