Astrid Bovell on April 5th, 2011
Are you sure? Public events aren’t just concerts or performances, they’re anything that happens that the public are allowed to come along and see. Which means it’s not just a physical event – it can be an electronic event – like posting something on a website… Relevant now?
Public lectures, conferences, screening a film or TV show in a communal area like the library or a student area, putting up a podcast of a something on a public access site, open days, course guides, exhibitions and displays, dances, plays, advertising – you name it – if the public can attend or view it –that’s what we’re talking about!
When the public attend or view something, there’s more opportunity for someone to notice that their material, or material owned by someone they know is being used. You might have used a photo you found on the web in some advertising for an event, or you might have used it as a slide in your presentation at a public lecture and if you haven’t asked permission and acknowledged the creator and/or owner of the material and someone finds out – things could get a little messy for you. Something like Open Day with tens of thousands of people walking passed – that’s tens of thousands of opportunities for you to get in trouble if you haven’t done the right thing.
So what do you do if you want to use someone else’s creation? Well, like anything – you ask for permission.
I’m sensing flailing arms and distant cries of “Oh it’s all too hard I can’t be bothered”. Before you go flailing your arms crying out, use that energy to do some research.
If you’re using music, you might not have to get permission for every song. Depending on what you’re doing, you could be covered under the University’s Music Licence or if not, it could be as simple as signing a form and paying a small fee. That wasn’t so hard was it? Now you’re licensed for the use, you won’t get into legal trouble and now you can get on with it!
If you’re using an image, request permission from the owner. If you can’t identify the owner, or don’t want to seek permission; look for alternatives like using open licensed material, out of copyright material, creating it yourself or arranging for someone to create it for you. (Just in case you missed it, Brooke posted some handy hints on using images on Valentine’s Day)
Need to know more or could do with some help? Come and see us! We’ll be talking about Copyright & Public Events at the Gryphon Galley on the 8th of June from 10:30am – 12:00pm.