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Aspects of Law and Ethics Related to Technology

IPR Workshop/Conference 2007 - summary

April 2007

The 2007 IPR Workshop/Conference in E-Learning took place on the 20th April 2007 at the London office of the British Computer Society. It was organised for the second time by the Business Development Unit and co-ordinated by Dr Carlisle George (Middlesex University - School of Computing Science). The workshop was attended by participants from all over the UK.

Participants were able to:

Appreciate the rational for IPR in e-learning; Understand IPR and related rights relevant to incorporating multimedia archives in e-learning materials; Understand IP issues related to buying and clearing rights: broadcast, print and multimedia; Understand IP issues in e-learning content; Appreciate important IPR management issues in running an international e-learning programme; Gain knowledge about solving IPR issues in higher education; Appreciate ethical and professional issues in IPR management.

The day began with a short welcome by Dr Terry Butland Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Middlesex University & Director, Middlesex International. Dr Butland stressed that Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) needed to be handled properly to ensure academic and commercial success in the distance learning market. He also noted that university staff needed to have an understanding of IPR issues when producing academic course materials for teaching at home institutions or at a distance with partners.

The keynote address titled Should we be “bovvered” about IPR in e-learning? was given by Professor Charles Oppenheim Professor of Information Science, Loughborough University. Professor Oppenheim considered recent developments in copyright and their implications from the point of view of creators and users. He then examined two recent JISC reports (on Creative Commons and Student IPR) and concluded with some remarks about the management of risk. In his address he noted that the law had moved steadily in favour of creators, and against users of IPR materials over many years, but the recent Gowers Report on IPR seemed to have halted this trend as far as the UK is concerned. He also discussed the recent HEFCE e-learning IPR 2006 report, highlighting its key issues, especially the need for senior management to develop clear and fair policies regarding the ownership of IPR in e-learning materials, and to develop clear policies regarding the franchised use of such materials outside the UK. The talk concluded with a discussion of risk management and a suggested equation for assessing risk.

In addition to the keynote address, the workshop included four presentations by distingished speakers, one interactive panel discussion session and two interactive problem solving sessions (exploring various legal and ethical scenarios related to IPR in E-Learning).

The sessions were as follows:

Presentation 1: IPR Issues and challenges faced when incorporating multimedia archives in e-learning materials
Mr David Donald, Senior Lecturer & Principal Investigator(UK) for Spoken Word Services, Glasgow Caledonian University

Presentation 2: Digital Rights Licensing - Buying and clearing rights: broadcast, print and multimedia
Mr Richard McCracken
, Rights Manager, The Open University

Presentation 3: IP issues in e-learning content: The Dilemma of joint ownership
Mr Robin Fry, IP Solicitor and Partner, Beachcroft LLP (London)

• Presentation 4: Managing IPR in an International e-learning degree programme
Mr Derek Brown
, Legal Services Manager (Technology & Research Services), Heriot-Watt University

Interactive Problem Solving Session 1– Getting practical with IPR issues in higher education
Ms Kate Vasili,
Copyright Officer, Middlesex University

• Interactive Problem Solving Session 2 - Exploring legal & ethical aspects of IPR management in e-learning
Dr Carlisle George , Barrister and Senior Lecturer, Middlesex University
Dr Penny Duquenoy, Chair-IFIP WG9.2, Manager BCS Ethics Forum, Senior Lecturer, Middlesex University

Workshop proceedings can be obtained from The Business Development Unit, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, London, NW4 4BT,or email: cs-bd@mdx.ac.uk (this includes an administrative fee of £20).

April 2007