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Copyright and CaseCheck

Got time off for good behaviour yesterday, and was allowed out for a CILIPS training event: "Copyright in the digital age: an introduction for information professionals".


Chair:
Tony Donnelly, Chief Librarian Glasgow Metropolitan College

10.00 Registration and coffee

10.30 Welcome and introduction

10.35 An overview of copyright in the digital age (JISCLEGAL)

11.00 Keynote Managing digital rights (Paul Pedley, Head of Research at the Economist Intelligence Unit)

11.45 The challenges of digital preservation (Simon Bains, Digital Library Manager, National Library of
Scotland)

12.30 Using Creative Commons licences (Dr Charles Duncan CEO Intrallect)


1.00 Lunch

2.15 Managing intellectual property rights in digital learning materials:The Trust DR project. (John Casey, EDINA)

3.00 Digital licenses: a practical guide (Alan Rae, Dundee College)


3.45pm Summary and close


Unfortunately, John Casey was unable to attend, but I was actually a bit relieved about this - I had the Scottish Law Librarians Group AGM to attend at 4pm, to could have been pushing it for time otherwise!

The content of the seminar itself was very interesting, but I couldn't help but feel that I had a bit of a headstart on librarians in other subject areas - working in law, I already knew about most of the topics covered. Looking at the text of legislation wasn't something new for me, I know about database rights, and the British Horseracing Board case and its implications, and the other cases mentioned throughout the day. Some of the speakers were aiming at an academic audience (although their main points worked for all information professionals), and discussed things relevant only to a purely academic setting, such as ERA, which I had never heard of.

Overall, it was a good refresher course, the Creative Commons section was very useful to me: I've never really considered Creative Commons before, but that's probably because I don't create any material of note. Also, the bit on the challenges of digital preservation was very good too. I have to admit though, I'm slightly disappointed that it wasn't actually going into more depth about copyright, and the effects of new technology on it. I was hoping for perhaps a bit more detail about what is and isn't possible to do with digital materials, but I suppose that's hard to do, without having everyones electronic content licences there to examine!

The best thing about the event I think was meeting another law librarian, Kate McIntosh - it's always nice to get to know more people in the profession, and as an added bonus, she's also fab! (and apparently reads this blog, which is the first time I've met a 'real' person I didn't know who knew of it...*warm inner glow*)

Afterwards, it was off the the SLLG AGM (with me managing to slip in late for the last bit of the Committee Meeting...BAD Committee member me, being at a course instead of a Committee meeting!!), where Stephen Moore from CaseCheck talked to us about his fabby product.

Basically, it's a collaborative blog where recent Scottish cases of note are posted, with a synopsis from experts, saving shedloads of time trawling through the horrendous ScotCourts website for judgements. And I'm not exaggerating, it's awful - if you want an exercise in lunacy, try doing a few searches on it, and wondering how it can return results of 300% accuracy... CaseCheck also covers Employment Appeal Tribunal cases (another one that used to be a nightmare to search, and still can be, it's very unforgiving). And even better...it's FREE!!!

Here's how it works (as far as I can remember - I was suffering slightly from copyright-overload, so forgive me if I get some bits wrong) : Experts in their field (e.g. Digby Brown for the personal injury section) will write the expert opinion on each case, and users can comment on the cases posted on the site, which encourages discussion of the legal points brought up by each case. Links to the source material are provided wherever possible, and also to legislation if available.

A weekly email newsletter brings topics of possible interest to the legal profession straight to your inbox (I already subscribe to this, and shamefully, I like the gossip bit best!), and the recruitment section is very busy, and growing.

There are RSS feeds aplenty (this is indeed a spiffy thing!), and they're experimenting with Yahoo Pipes to see how they can use them to enhance the site and their offerings.

Overall, it's a brilliant new tool, especially for any Scottish law librarians looking to keep up with the output of the courts!

Although the Terms and Conditions section appears to ban reuse of material, I did ask yesterday if it was possible to use the postings, with the source properly attributed, within our internal current awareness service, and was told this was fine, as it's basically a free a type of marketing for the service. Once I have this confirmed in writing / an email (I don't work for lawyers for nothing you know!) I'm likely to be making it a regular visit...now, where do I find the time to add this material to current Awareness from!??!

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