Updated Copyright Guidance for Using Films, Audiovisual Works and Images in Online Teaching: Beyond the Covid Pandemic
26 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2022 Last revised: 2 Mar 2022
Date Written: February 24, 2022
In August 2020, I released guidance in relation to the copyright options for using feature films and other audiovisual content in online teaching. That guidance sought to address questions from UK higher education institutions (HEIs) in relation to the copyright implications of the sector-wide shift to remote learning necessitated by the Covid pandemic. HEIs were keen to know whether they could use audiovisual content in online teaching without a licence. The key take-home message was that there are a number of exceptions in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA) on which HEIs may be able to rely, including section 32 (fair dealing for the sole purpose of illustration for instruction) and section 30(1ZA) (fair dealing for the purpose of quotation).
This Updated Guidance updates my earlier guidance. It includes new content, in particular a legal checklist for using section 32 and new analysis on the use of stills, photographs and other images by reference to fair dealing. It also considers the degree to which the 2020 analysis of fair dealing was dependent on the conditions that characterised the first year of the pandemic. Its key message is that many of the arguments that film and audiovisual works may be used in online teaching by reference to copyright exceptions are not dependent on the Covid pandemic. Rather than seeing these arguments as reflecting the exceptional and “unprecedented” nature of the pandemic, it can be argued that the pandemic merely accelerated the emergence of new copyright norms and interpretations in relation to educational copying exceptions.
Keywords: Copyright, fair dealing, education, films, audiovisual works, images, photographs
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