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1. Introduction

This document is work package 7 in the JISC-funded MIDESS project which looks at the management of digitised content in institutional and cross-institutional repositories that hold documents and objects which may be textual or multimedia. The objective of Work package 7 is to establish the IPR and related issues in the context of multimedia material and content sharing.

Intellectual property rights are a key element bearing on the inclusion of content (whether born digital or converted from an analogue original), its management and how it is accessed through a repository and its intended use. Intellectual property rights are relevant throughout the lifecycle of materials in repositories e.g. preservation, access, conversion into different formats and reuse.

1.1. What is a multimedia repository?

In this context, an institutional repository is a ‘container’ that brings together in one place or through one access point a disparate collection of resources for long- term storage, preservation, management, and retrieval or, as the JISC wiki says:

IRs[Institutional repositories] are partly linked to the notion of a digital library -- i.e., collecting, housing, classifying, cataloguing, curating, preserving, and providing access to digital content, analogous with the library's conventional function of collecting, housing, classifying, curating, preserving and providing access to analog content (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institutional_repository)

The resources can range from the research output of a university to basic research materials, including special collections. Currently material can be scattered around the university, often inaccessible to all but a few individuals, although the contents reflect much effort and valuable assets for which there is frequently no preservation strategy in place and/or very limited access.

Repositories are very powerful management, preservation and access tools for multimedia and offer great opportunities particularly when extended across institutions or possibly made accessible to external users. There are areas of overlap with VLEs but repositories have a much wider remit. The JISC wiki also gives one of the two main objectives of IRs as:

to store and preserve other institutional digital assets, including unpublished or otherwise easily lost ("grey") literature (e.g., theses or technical reports).

which is further extended in repositories which contain multimedia documents and objects. VLEs, in contrast, have specialised functions in the teaching, learning, support and assessment processes, being organised on a course by course basis with access generally limited to registered students on the relevant course. VLEs potentially support a high degree of interactivity with the user. Repositories could also be a storage, management and access tool for learning objects (for which there are several definitions) or reusable learning objects. Repositories, however, may not allow the necessary degree of interactivity; while the material can be ingested some formats may not be immediately viewable without further configuration of the repository.

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