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Online portal providing guidance to copyright law


CopyrightUser.org (CU), generated from CREATe research, is an online portal which communicates information about copyright to user-creators and laypeople who are not lawyers but need information about how to protect new work and legally use work created by others. Since its launch in March 2014, Copyright User has attracted over 80,000 unique users; 62,000 of whom visited in 2015. The resource has been used by a wide variety of users within the creative industries, cultural heritage organisations, and the education sector; and has been recognised by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society “as the most visited UK copyright information website.”

Copyright User has also had an impact on policy and was featured prominently in the Prime Minister’s Intellectual Property Adviser, Mike Weatherley MP’s October 2014 report to the Prime Minister on copyright education and awareness.* The report offers a number of recommendations with the goal of achieving “greater coherence and coordination between industry, Government, academia and all other relevant stakeholders to deliver an effective positive message about the importance of IP to all our benefits”. Several recommendations explicitly address CREATe and in particular the project CopyrightUser.org. One recommendation of the report suggests that copyright and more generally IP should be included within the National Curriculum in schools. The report highlights the ongoing impact of Copyright User on education through working with partners such as OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations) on introducing copyright law into the AS/A Level Media Studies curriculum in schools in England and Wales.

Copyright User resources and expertise have been sought for consultation by a variety of organisations including the Education Licensing Working Group, Heritage Lottery Fund and British Film Institute (BFI). A wide spectrum of cultural and academic organizations across the UK advise their members or students to refer to Copyright User as useful guidance for copyright queries; these include the British Library, the Chartered Institute of Building, the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals, the Cultural Enterprise Office, the Digital Curation Centre, JISC, London Museums Group, The Publishers Association and a number of UK universities.

Professor Richard Paterson from BFI highlighted Copyright User by stating that “It is an excellent and timely project in providing basic pointers to the evolving copyright framework which affects everyone involved in producing or using copyright works.”

This case study was featured in the 2014/15 AHRC impact report.

Copyrightuser.org have also produced The Adventure of the Girl with the Light Blue Hair, this animated film won the Innovation Award at the 2015 AHRC Research in Film Awards.

For more information on the project visit: copyrightuser.org

* M. Weatherley, Copyright Education and Awareness: A Discussion Paper (October 2014)


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