PODCAST Copyright and your Thesis – Examples 20 09 19


Hi, I’m Maxine, from the Library’s
Research Support team. And I’m Katie, from the Library’s Licensing and Acquisitions
team. In this video we will talk you through some
examples of the types of issues you might face when including third-party copyright
works in your thesis, to help you to understand some of the potential complexities. If you haven’t already, we suggest that
you watch our ‘Copyright and your Thesis’ video first, which gives further context for
understanding copyright issues in relation to your thesis. Ok, so let’s look at some examples. Andy
would like to use two lines from a short poem by T.S. Eliot on the title-page of his thesis
to ‘set the scene’ and introduce his research topic in an engaging way. Andy finds out that
T.S. Eliot died in 1965 so he thinks the work is still in copyright. However, he believes
that since he has only used a small amount of the poem, this can hardly be considered
substantial. Is Andy right, or does he need to seek permission to include this material
in his thesis? Andy is right that the work is still in copyright,
since it is less than 70 years since the author’s death. However, substantial use is very subjective.
It’s not defined by law other than that copyright protects a work or any substantial
part of it. If a rightsholder feels that a substantial part of their work has been used,
they can challenge use and follow court proceedings as they deem necessary. Anything over a couple
of lines from a longer poem should be cleared, but even a single line of poetry from a shorter
poem could be considered substantial. So, should Andy obtain permission? Given how subjective substantial use is, we
would advise him to check with us first, but in this instance, he would most likely need
permission from T.S Eliot’s estate, and this could be expensive to clear as he is
a high-profile author. No student is expected to pay for copyright
clearance. In this example, we would advise Andy to either consider finding an alternative
quote from a work available in the public domain (such as Shakespeare, Dickens or Oscar
Wilde for example, where the author died more than 70 years ago) or Andy can submit a redacted
version of his thesis for upload to the repository. Full details on how to do this are included on
the Thesis Deposition form when you come to submit. Ok, let’s look at another example. Jamira’s
thesis explores how social stigma is represented in Broadway musicals, and she wishes to include
several extracts from the 1984 printed score of Westside Story. Jamira knows that this
will probably be considered substantial but is not sure who she needs to contact to gain
permission, since this published work includes both lyrics and musical notation. She’s
also unsure how long this type of work is protected for. The copyright duration of composed music is
the same as for books, paintings and other literary and artistic works, the author’s
lifetime plus 70 years. My advice would be to find the acknowledgement or copyright wording
on a published work to identify the rights holders or contact the publisher if nothing
else is evident.  In this example, if Jamira wanted to use an extract from the printed
score, the music notation will need clearing with Bernstein’s estate and the lyrics with
Sondheim’s (via their respective rights holders). However, if Jamira is scanning the original
musical score there is also copyright protection on the layout of the published edition (referred
to as the typographical arrangement), which lasts for 25 years from its first publication. Since the score was published in 1984, copyright
protection has expired for the typographical arrangement. So, provided Jamira gets permission
from Sondheim and Bernstein’s estates, she could scan the musical score without obtaining
permission to do so? That’s right. Sam’s thesis explores the presentation of
identity through self-portraiture in art. He wishes to include several images of Picasso
self-portraits he has found online. These images are photographs taken of Picasso works
hanging in National Galleries. Whose permission does Sam need to seek to include these images
in his thesis? Photographs can be a particularly tricky area
of copyright, as even if you are the original photographer, you may be taking pictures of
materials in which someone else owns the rights. In this example, both the photographs and
the artworks that appear in them are copyright works. The image file needs clearing with
its creator, and the artistic rights in the painting need to be cleared with Picasso’s
estate. Clearance can be requested via the Design
and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) at dacs.org.uk. DACS is the main trusted UK agent artists
and their estates use to license their content. You can search their website to find out if
the artist whose works you want to reproduce is represented by DACS. But, if you’re ever
unsure of who to contact to clear copyright in artworks, please get in touch with us for
advice. But surely if these artworks are hanging in
a public exhibition space, Sam would have the right to photograph them himself and use
these images in his thesis? Most galleries will have entry conditions
which restrict photography for this very reason. Even where photography is allowed, this does
not mean you then have the right to reproduce the images you take. This leads us to another important point.
Be wary of using images of artworks found on Wikipedia or Flickr, as these digital images
may have been created without the artist’s permission. Again, if you’re unsure, contact
us for advice. So, Sam needs clearance from the image creator
and Picasso’s estate. If payment is required, we would encourage Sam to instead submit a
redacted copy of his thesis for online publication. Priya is researching sediment transport in
UK rivers, and needs to include several maps in her thesis. She found some of these maps
online, but others are in print format and look to be old, and she isn’t sure whether
or how she should seek permission to include these. As Artistic Works, maps and charts have 70
years protection. If Priya has used a digital map, from organisations such as Ordnance Survey
or Digimap for example, she should check the relevant licence to see if the use is permitted.
It should be noted that OS is particularly protective of its rights and that reuse of
its maps without express permission is a high-risk approach, so always contact them first. For maps obtained from a book or in print,
she should check who owns the copyright in the map. This should be indicated either with
the map, in the acknowledgements, or in a list of figures at the beginning of a book.
Some older printed maps or charts may be out of copyright if they are over 70 years old.
However, ‘old maps’ in digital format will not be out of copyright, since the digital
file has become a new artistic work in its own right. So, the advice for maps and charts differs
depending on whether they are in print or digital format; and remember that digital
images of print maps may have two copyright owners, the creator of the digital image and
the original map creator so you may need to contact both. Thanks for watching. As you can see, it is
not always easy to decide whether you need permission to use certain materials, or to
find out who owns the copyright. If you are ever unsure or would like further
advice, please do get in touch: [email protected]

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