PODCAST Copyright and your Thesis

PODCAST Copyright and your Thesis


Hello 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 explain to you a little bit about how,
when and why to seek permission for including copyrighted content in your
thesis. All guidance referred to to in this video can be found in
our online document ‘Copyright and your Thesis’, which will include a link to at the end of this video.
It is more than likely that during the production of your thesis you, will want
to draw upon the work of others (known as third party copyright works), so you need
to know where you stand when you include such material in your thesis. As a
student of The Open University, when you complete your thesis you will be
required to submit a copy to ORO, the OU’s open access research repository. A
copy will also be made available online through the British Library’s Ethos
service. This is great news for you as a researcher, as it will help you to gain a
wider audience for your research and improve your visibility as a scholar.
However, having a copy of your thesis published online, as opposed to simply
submitting a copy for examination, changes the copyright situation, and you
will need to seek permission to include substantial copyrighted content in your
thesis. So, what is copyright? Copyright is a legal right which protects expression
of original ideas, given the owner control over their work and how it is
used. Copyright applies to all original literary, artistic, musical and dramatic
works; so it applies to books, music and lyrics, radio and TV broadcasts and
recordings, illustrations, graphs, photographs, maps, tables, and figures and even software and databases, to name just a few. Copyright is normally owned by the
author or originator, but copyright can be assigned (for example to a publisher
or employer). Or it can be shared by more than one person, which can make it more
of a challenge to determine whose permission you will need. See the
‘Copyright and your Thesis’ guide for some useful tips on tracking down the copyright owner. You may be aware that there are certain exceptions that allow the use of
copyrighted works, such as for the purposes of examination. this is known as ‘fair dealing’ and could apply to the copy of your thesis submitted for examination.
However, we wouldn’t recommend relying on this, as it can be very difficult to
judge when an exception applies. This exception also does not apply for the
copy of your thesis published online, so you’ll need to seek permission to
include substantial third-party copyright works in your thesis. Only a
substantial part of a copyright work has protection by law. So, what could be
considered a substantial? It’s not necessarily about quantity. Even small
sections of a work can be considered ‘substantial’ if they give away the “essence” of the work. For example, even a single line of poetry could be considered substantial. Refer to the online guide for further details and if
in any doubt, it’s always best to get permission or seek our advice! So, you’ve
identified that you are including substantial sections of third-party
copyrighted work in your thesis – what should you do now? Well, first you should check whether or not you need permission to use it. In the UK copyright protection
for published works can last up to 70 years after the author’s death, after
which the work is in the public domain and can be used by anyone. The work might also be free to use already, if available under a Creative Commons license for
example. Refer to the online guide for more details of the different flavors of
Creative Commons licenses available, and the conditions of use attached to them.
And remember, even if you are free to use the content, you should still give
appropriate accreditation and adhere to any other licence terms, such as
including a live license link. So, how do request permission? We suggest starting early and requesting permission as soon as you identify that you may need to use a copyright work. It can take a long time to find and contact copyright holders,
and even longer for them to respond – don’t leave it to the day before submission! Our online guide includes some handy
templates for requesting permission from the copyright holder, which should make
it easier. If permission is denied, or you don’t hear back from the copyright
holder, you can still include the material in the copy of your thesis
submitted for examination, but you will need to submit a redacted copy for
depositing in Oro. Similarly, if you’re pursuing a PhD by
published works or have previously published any part of your thesis, you
should refer to the guide for details of what you need to do and contact us if
you need further help or advice. Thanks for watching. If you have any questions at all about copyright, or need any help with the process, please do get in touch
at: [email protected]

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