4.2 Checking copyright status
An initial appraisal of the copyright status of material may be made by reference to the table in Appendix 1 giving the duration of copyright. Once that is done further research on the legal status at the appropriate period in time for older material may be necessary before expending effort on tracing the holders of copyright and other intellectual property rights. Note, however, there is no provision to make reasonable enquiries into the copyright status of broadcasts.
4.2.1 Tracing rights holders
Serious efforts must be made to trace rights holders for items or material to be included in the multimedia repository. As copyright is an automatic right there is no register of copyright holders in the majority of cases for material that is likely to be incorporated in any deposited item(s). Hence it will be necessary for the depositor or the administrator to look at all components of the material and there may be several items that have to be examined to ensure all rights have been cleared or at least a genuine effort has been made to trace copyright holders. Sample copyright release forms, mainly for the e-learning environment, have been published in several places. Pedley gives a sample copyright release form for the VLE environment which could be adapted as do the JISC/TLTP Copyright guidelines.
While Sherpa/Romeo holds information on publishers’ copyright policies, in other cases Ingenta-Heron will clear copyright for learning materials (for a charge) depositors will need to:
Identify and locate the copyright owner e.g.
Contact DACS, ALCS, various music copyright holders
Consider advertising in relevant press
Carry out a risk assessment, if anonymous or author will not reply, despite several attempts to contact
Annotate the item to the effect that diligent attempts have been made to contact copyright holder and asking them to come forward
All efforts to seek copyright permission must be recorded and the records kept. If the level of risk has been judged low and the decision is taken to proceed then the ‘notice and take down’ policy comes into its own and is a useful ‘fall back’ position. This should minimise the effects of any further action by the author or creator, but it is not without dangers. Note: it strongly advised not to tell a rightsholder that permission will be assumed if no reply is received.
Keeping track of the IPR and licences or permissions granted is essential for efficient use of material and to ensure legal requirements are met. Whether this is within the repository package or outside it (some institutions use PackTracker with VLEs) will depend on the software. However it is done the linking or attachment of rights information should be a tight one to ensure the information does not become easily detached, especially in the light of possible later migrations to other software. The detailed information should only be available to a very limited audience, administrators and include relevant depositors. In some cases e.g. medical detailed rights information should be extremely restricted as this may