Kate Parr’s report on the Copyright Officer Training Day delivered by Naomi Korn Associates on 17th September proves learning about Intellectual Property can be fun!
“As part of my chartership PKSB I identified copyright as an area that I needed to improve in, both from a CPD angle but also as a professional. My role as Local Studies Librarian with the South West Heritage Trust involves regular discussions of ownership of archival documents but fewer around intellectual property and classic copyright. I was fortunate to secure funding from the CILIP South West Professional Development Grant towards training, and the Copyright Officer day being piloted by Naomi Korn & Associates seemed like exactly what I needed.
The training was held at the Imperial War Museum in London, which was a wonderful opportunity. We were welcomed with the traditional refreshments and introductions, and while I had a sense that my knowledge might not be as good as necessary, I was soon put at my ease.
The day was separated into sections, first playing Naomi’s own version of Top Trumps, where each team had to come up with five obscure copyright facts that would trump other teams. A fact would be trumped if another team came up with the same fact…it was harder than it sounds! Our team went with the fact that no posted disclaimer on social media can circumvent that platform being tacitly licenced to use an image you post, and that copyright can pass through multiple generations, sometimes over hundreds of years. Surprisingly only one fact got trumped!
We moved on to some reflection about what our role as an Intellectual Property officer might involve, which ended up running into a very long list, highlighting Naomi’s point that copyright work isn’t a silo: it can affect almost everything we do and everyone we work with.
After lunch we took a canter through the implications of the new EU directive on copyright and what that might mean in the event of Brexit. The biggest implication seems to be losing the Orphan Works Exception, and with it an element of copyright law that many cultural heritage institutions rely heavily on in order to actually use their collections. There was an almost audible group gulp at this point.
The rest of the afternoon was spent looking at different types of licences and contracts and working through some tricky scenarios around use of film, music and images. For example, if someone wants to charge you £5k for a clip of music for your installation, what do you do? Answer: you haggle them down!
Despite copyright being, for me at least, a pretty daunting topic, the whole day was fascinating and at no point did I feel left behind or that I was asking a daft question. The opportunity to work with like-minded and skilled colleagues from across the country, and to be instructed by someone as engaging, knowledgeable and passionate on her subject as Naomi, was a real pleasure, and I feel I have the confidence to go back to my colleagues and inform and signpost them from a much stronger position.”