Sep 282015

Today I am at the National Library of Scotland for a Clipper project workshop (info here). Clipper is a project to create a content creation tool for multimedia, with funding from Jisc.

After an introduction from Gill Hamilton Intro it’s over to John Casey who will be leading this through the day…

Introduction – John Casey

The tagline for the project is basically Clipper 1. 2. 3: Clip, Organise, Share.

We want your input early on in the process here but that means we will be trying out a prototype with you – so there will be bugs and issues but we are looking for your comments and feedback etc. The first outing of Clipper was from 2009, as a rapid development project which used Flash and Flex. Then it went to sleep for a while. Then we started working on it again when looking at Open Education in London

Trevor: I’m Trevor Collins – research fellow at the Open University. My background is very technical – computer engineering, HCI but all my research work is around the context of learning and teaching. And we have a common interest in HTML5 video. And my interest is working, with you, to ensure this will be helpful and useful.

Will: My name is Will and my background is engineering. Originally I worked with John on this project in Flash etc. but that’s really died out and, in the meantime HTML has really moved on a long way and with video in HTML5 we can just use the browser as the foundation, potentially, for some really interesting application. For me my interest today is in the usability of the interface.

With that we have had some introductions… It is a really interesting group of multimedia interested folk.

John Casey again:

This project is funded by Jisc as part of the Research Data Spring Initiative, and that is about technical tools, software and service solutions to support the researchers workflow, the use and mangement of their data. Now it’s interesting that this room is particuarly interested in teaching and learning, we are funded for researcher use but of course that does not proclude teaching and learning use.

The project partners here are City of Glasgow College as lead, The Open University and ?

So, what is Clipper? One of the challenges is explaining what this project is… And what it is not. So we are punting it as a research tool for digital research with online media / time-based media (ie audio/video data). The aim is to create a software toolkit (FOSS) deployed in an institution or operated as a n national service. We are about community engagement and collavorative design delivering a responsive design. And that’s why we are here.

So, why do this? Well time-based media is a large and “lumpy” data format, hard to analyse and even harder to share your analysis. There are barriers to effective (re)use of audio and video data including closed collections (IPR) and proprietary tools and formats. So we want to be able to create a “virtual clip” – and that means not copying any data, just metadata. So start and stop points on reference URI. And then also being able to organise that clip, to annotate it, and group into cliplists. So playlists of clips of excerpts etc. And then we can share using cool URIs for those clips and playlists.

This means bringing audio and video data to live, enabling analysis without breaking copyright or altering the soure data. We think it had streamlined workflows and facilitate collaboration. And we think it will lead to new things. It is secure and safe – respecting existing access permissions to data and does not alter or duplicate the original files. And it creates opportunities for citizen science/citizen research; user generated content – e.g. crowd sourcing etdata and user analytics. Colleagues in Manchester, for instance, have a group of bus enthusiasts who may be up for annotating old bus footage. The people who use your archives or data can generate analytics or para data and use of that can be useful and interesting as well.

So Clipped is… An online media analysis and collaboration tool for digital researchers (ie it supports human-based qualitative analysis, collavoboration and sharing. It is not an online audio/video editing tool. It is not a data repository. It is not using machine analysis of time based media. 


John: The best way to understand this stuff is to demonstrate and test this stuff out. We are going to take you through three workflows – these are just examples: (1) One source file, many clips, (2) Many source files, many clips, (3) Many source files, many clips, and annotations.

Over to Trevor and Will for examples.

Trevor: Hopefully as we work through these examples we should get more questions etc. and as we look through these examples.

Do bear in mind that what we will show you today is not a finished product, it’s a prototype. We want you to tell us what is good, what needs changing… You are the first of our three workshops so you get first say on the design! We want clear ideas on what will be useful… We hope it is fairly straightforward and fairly clear. If it isn’t, just tell us.

So, Workflow (1): Analysing a source file – the idea is an app developer (researcher) interviewing a user when testing an app. So the flow is:

  • Create and open a new project
  • Add the source file to the project
  • Preview the file – to find emerging themes etc.
  • Create clips – around those themes.
  • Add clips to cliplist

Now Will is demonstrating the system.

Will: I am going to create a new project, and I can edit the details later if I want to. And then I go in to edit the cliplist… And one of the collections included here is YouTube, as well as the BBC Collection (looks like their journalism trainee stuff), etc. I can choose a video, preview it, then I can choose to create a clip… I do this by watching the video and clicking “start” and “end” at the appropriate sections of the clip. I can then give the clip a title, and add a description and save it. Then close it. And any clips I create are kept in a “Project Cliplist”. Behind the scenes this is also getting saved to a database behind the scenes…

Trevor: So here we use the original source file, and we select a stop and start point… All the examples are based on video but the same player will do the same thing for audio. The intention is to support both audio and video within the same video.

Q1: What happens if you have a clip on a password protected Vimeo, etc.

Will: You have to have access permissions to the video… So it would attempt to play a video, and then that would be stopped.

Q1: But you would want students to be able to login, perhaps

Will: Would the tool then direct you to login, to anticipate that up front when you watch the list

Trevor: If you are signed in to Google, or signed in to your VLE, then as they would elsewhere in the browser, it will play clips. But if you are not logged in, no it won’t work. It would be nice to offer a pop up for sign in when needed. But we’ve tried that with private YouTube (only) so far.

Q2: Is there a way to separate out audio and video to save to different channels… So that you can strip down to just the audio… Maybe you just want to capture that.

Will: It’s not something that can be done in the browser, that’s more a server side function…

John: You could mark up the audio and video in Clipper. And then use that server side to extract the audio… And put the time references onto that.

Comment: Could hide the video, and play the sound…

Trevor: Hadn’t heard of that… But viewer is under our control… Could put a black filter over the video for a section.

Q3: The clips you are generating, can you tag them?

Will: Yes

Trevor: Thinking of ways to tag them, and to scale that up, is something to think about…

Workflow 2: Analysing Multiple Files

  • Create and open a new project
  • Add multiple source files to the project
  • Preview the files
  • Create clips
  • Add clips to cliplist

And the scenario we have in mind here is labs reviewing results across a distributed research team.

Will demonstrating a clip creation process using a Wellcome Collection video. 

Will: For some of our videos we can create thumbnails but that varies depending on rights etc. so instead we have a generic icon at the moment. And, as you can see, you can combine videos from multiple sources. So no matter what the resource you can create groups of clips.

Workflow 3: Adding Annotations to clips

  • Create and open a new project
  • Add multiple source files to the project
  • Preview the files and create clips
  • Add annotations to clips
  • Add clips to cliplist
  • So the example scenario is representations of climate change in mass media.

Trevor: Now this is where we’d particularly appreciate your comments on structures or tagging or approaches that might work, and that might scale.

Over to Will to demo again.

Will: So, when I have selected a clip I can click to annotate, and add an annotation to that clip at that moment. These annotations can then be associated with a particular second or moment in the video. And that is added to the clips metadata. And so we have time based annotation. And we will be adding a play button that enables us to jump to that moment in a video… And that information can be sharable – the clip,  the annotations, and the jumping to a moment in time.

Trevor: So it’s fairly light weight and pretty much wire framed… But hopefully enough there to understand the functionality.

Q4: Will annotations pop up when you reach them?

Will: Could highlight the clips…

Q4: Would be really useful, somewhere on the screen.

Comment: Even just a scrolling panel.

Q4: But also thinking about how it plays in fullscreen…

Will: Have seen demo on full screen video…

Q5: If you wanted to annotate a whole video would you have the option to do that as one clip?

Will: Yes, just use beginning and end of the video for a clip.

Q6: Would be useful to be able to use the hashtag or keywords etc. that a researcher wants to use – to easily find all the clips…

Will: So you could tag an annotation, or search for a keyword.

Comment: And see spread of tags etc.

Q5: The different ways the researcher wants to catergorise things.

Q7: All the moving image content on our site is only licensed for one site… Would this sit on the organisations site.. Where is it going?

Trevor: The YouTube videos are on their server… Played with this tool but the file stays on your server. Rights wise it would depend on how it is phrased. If hosted on your domain, then this would break it… But you could do this in house on your own system… Installing this software.

Q8: What if you have a video that specifies only the servers/IPs that can be used – which you can do on Vimeo – how would that work with Vimeo?

Trevor: I think it would work the same way… So if the user accesses the video from an appropriate IP range, it should work etc. But examples like that would be great to hear, so that we can address this.

Q9: How does transition between clips work?

Will: We can determine end of a clip, and fade out, fade in… But there are some buffering challenges potentially.

John: In the tool being tried out, the clips are on a host site… They are out on the web… Not on our demo site. Wellcome, BBC, YouTube is all coming in from different sites… So transitions have to take account of that.

Will: I am using the open source VideoJS player here… It does fire off nice events that allows us to indicate where clips begin and end… with a bit of jQuery.

John: Colleagues in North West Film Archive want to join clips up fairly seamlessly… But a gap or clear demarcation may be interesting.

Will: On the original flash version, to mask interruption, we took description from next clip and displayed that to smooth the transition.

Q9: Should leave to end user.

Trevor: Should maybe leave to end user for two or three options….

JOhn: We have been discussing options for end users… Because of how it is coded, it would be very feasible to have different options. Do I want to see the annotations this way or what… That flexibility does seem like it should be on the road map.

Trevor: May need to be decided at point of viewing.

Q10: Is this something Final Cut Pro could help, in terms of approach?

Will: Could be…

Trevor: Range of options is good.

Will: Almost drag and drop there…

Q11: Can you reorder the clips?

Will: That’s the intention, so yes. And likely drag and drop.

Q12: What about a web resource becomes available… And disappears… Hyperlinks can disappear and that would be a concern when I come to share it… And when I invest that time. And it’s quite likely… If a web link is dead, it’s a problem.

Trevor: With the Clipper server thing… If it was NLS, or a service based with the archive might be more trusted?

Q12: Not about trust, but fragility of web links…

Trevor: If we can surface the availability of content – if a source we know expires – we can show this.

Q12: I think that notifications would be useful here. But maybe also something that can be cached or kept so there is a capture of that.

Trevor: You don’t create the clip of video… But the annotation can be retained… And it can be saved and downloaded. So that even if the clip disappears, you might be able to switch the video URL and reapply that annotation.

Q12: Notifications would be really important.

Trevor: Managing a service that pushed out those emails could be really useful.

Will: We discussed that it would be possible to have video, captured by fancy proprietary video – once converted to e.g. MP4 – to annotate, but then also direct back to the original format.

Q13: You are pulling things through from websites elsewhere. If you make your own interview, can you upload it here… Or do you upload elsewhere and pull in URL?

Trevor: You can refer to a file on your own machine, or a repository, or on a private YouTube. But annotating a video that sits on your own machine is a good one for some researchers, e.g. on sensitive work etc.

Will: We have one challenge here… A fake path is used in the browser, and that can change… So you might have to browse to recreate that fake path…

John: But markup should transfer when you upload a video somewhere else – and upload a Clipper document that matches up with it…

Now watching a locally stored example – school children’s perceptions of researchers…

Q14: Question from me: Can you display rights information here – they should be available in metadata with video and/or APIs and are really important to indicate that.

John: We do take in that information, so it should be possible to display that… And we could do that with icons – e.g. Creative Commons symbols etc.

Q14: You might also want to include icons for locally hosted items – so that the playlist creator knows what can or cannot be seen by others (who likely won’t be able to access a file on a local machine).

Comment: For our collections the rights information is available in the API so it should be straightforward to pull in – that will apply to many other collections too (but not all)

Trevor: In addition to those indications it could be useful to foreground where rights information isn’t available.

Q15: My question is a bit different… Maybe how the clip is created… There are so many people who share clips and compilations of video items…

Trevor: We get to the same place really, but without reediting those videos etc.

Q16 – Me again: US vs UK copyright, particularly thinking about Fair Use content which might be legally acceptable in the US, but not in the UK.

John: Increasing ubiquity of video and audio online makes this stuff easier… But legal issues are there…

Q16 – Me again: In a way that level of usage, and so that issue would be a great problem to have though!

And now we are moving into testing out Clipper… So things will be quiet here… 

Comments on Demo

C1: You’ve only got one timestamp for annotations – would be useful to have end point too. And being able to annotation a particular frame/part of the frame to annotate as well. There are plugins for VideoJS with Overlay HTML. Being able to link annotations – link one to another would be useful.

Trevor: We thought about clips as URLs, and playlists as URLs. But we could also think about annotations as URLs.

C1: Version control on annotations would also be useful.

Trevor: Useful to think of that…

C2: A slide for the beginning or the end with credits etc. generated in the system would be useful. Would help with rights information.

Will: Also in Overlay VideoJS as well.

C3: General comment – do not understand technophobia of your audience. Web based service is a real advantage. Not many options, nothing to download, that is important. Capitalise on that… At the moment it looks more complex than it is. Has to not just be simple, but also look simple and user friendly.

Trevor: Absolutely. And that interface will change.

C4: I was wondering about nudging start and stop points…

Will: Set to read only now, was thinking about nudge buttons.

Trevor: Would you want to type or to have forward/back nudge buttons.

C4: probably both.

C5: I think you will need real usability testing to watch people using the tool, rather than asking them… And that will highlight where there is any misunderstanding. When I chose a video for a collection. How do I do anything creative with those clips… To merge or play all etc…

Trevor: Some of that sounds like video editing… If for those clips you want to change the order… You can shuffle them. You can’t merge them…

C5: Maybe you’d edit down elsewhere… Something to do with the content I have.

John: Are you wanting to select clips from different clip lists and then use in a new one?

C5: Yes, that’s one thing…

Will: That’s come up several times, and we do feel we need to add that to a roadmap… Perhaps creation of new video file maybe as compilation…

C6: From a users point of view you need confirmations on screen to highlight things have been created, saved, etc. For creating a clip, start and end, I didn’t get any visual confirmation. Need that to make it clear.

Trevor: Those are critical important things… Hopefully as we go through these workshops we’ll add that functionality.

Will: Notification systems might be useful in general within the system.

C7: It would be helpful to have maybe a pop up, or information symbol to remind you to cut off the clip. Thinking about the likely users here. Would be useful to have reminders.

Will: I think there is a lot to do on annotations.

C8: Searchable annotations would be really useful. And find all the relevant annotations. Things like NVivo do that.

Will: If anyone has looked on the JSON, I’ve had a tags property on the clip, but I can see we need that on the annotations.

John: On the annotations, people from Arts and Humanities suggest that an annotation could be an essay or an article. Several projects want storytelling tools using archives… The annotations side is potentially quite big in terms of length, and function it plays. From a rights point of view, an annotation could have it’s own rights.

C9 (me): That issue of annotations, also raises the issue of what the playback experience is. And how annotations etc. are part of that…

C10: How do you publish this content? Do you share the playlist? Do you need a Clipper account to view it?

Trevor: Well it may be the document of different clips… Maybe for projects you can invite people to join that project. Talking through the workflow might be useful. Sharing the link out there is something to think about.

Will: It may be just having a player, with a pane to the annotations. With a URL that works through the playlists, just as read only view. So we hope to have a sharable published HTML document to share. And could be maybe cached/saved for the long term (but not including original videos).

John: Could also have an embed code. Clipper fires information to a database, also into directories as HTML documents. If the database goes down, you still have reclaimable HTML documents. And you can send an embed code OR the HTML documents. Very transportable and friendly to Web 2.0 type stuff. But because in HTML, could deposit into catalogues etc. So good for long term.

Trevor: Any other ideas or comments please note them and share them with us – all of your comments are very welcome.

Now, after lunch we will have more discussion which includes implications for data management, service development and policy, etc. And then we’ll talk a bit more about technical aspects.

And now, for lunch… 

Discussion: Implications for Data Management

John: When we are looking at data management and implications: whose data? where stored? how is it stored and managed? why store and manage it? formats? retention? archive/deep freeze (available but maybe off site/harder to get to)?

Trevor: So, in your tables have a chat at your tables. And then we’ll feed back from these…

We’ve been discussing this so now for responses/ideas/comments… 

Table 1: If it’s research data a lot of this will be sensitive, and have to be within your control and your own students…

John: May also be issues of students data.

Table 1: We do use some cloud based services for student data though, so there must be some possibility there.

John: There is some of this in the paper economy, e.g. with assessment. But we find ways to do this. We are transitioning paper based to digital model… Perhaps we see problems as bigger than they are… And how long would you want to keep for a long time?

Table 1: Some for long term, some quite short.

Table 2: Some funders will have requirements too. But we were also talking about non-public video content… Maybe need two systems with permissions lined up… Asking students to sign in twice can be confusing. Institutional single sign on might be useful – map permissions across. But can the system recognise right to access data.

John: It could, and single sign on as a solution.

Comment: My students have access to very private recordings that have to be secure and has to be retained in that way, and keep it secure.

John: This can work as creating annotations, and can share pointer to the video clips… Outsider could view the annotations… It’s both a technical and policy issues. So you would tell students about protective identities etc.

Comment: password protection, encryption etc. might be important.

Comment: security of annotations may also be quite important.

Table 3: A question really: if it is someone else’s data and shared under CC licence (ND) – do clipper clips count as modifications or not?

Trevor: We think not but we should look at that.

John: But it might be fine, you are just excerpting the content, not cutting it. But could risk “passing off”.

Comment: You are still only showing part of a video, the whole video is available.

Comment: Could ensure links to full video… to ensure context is there.

Trevor: Again about how we present the content and it’s context, rights, etc.

John: It’s a user education issue, and a policy issue…

Table 4: We didn’t get beyond “whose data” and were particularly thinking about researcher data, and whether that data should be available to reuse by the institution, the funder, other researchers etc. And what are the funders requirements for that data etc. So really about how Clipper might be used inside that data environment.

Trevor: Funders are requiring data – some of it – to be made available openly.

Comment: Although not totality of data, it’s usually what supports publications. But open access aspect is certainly important. Clipper could find its way into that kind of environment and could be a good tool to show off some of your research.

John: And to do that in an efficient way… Maybe that FigShare concept of sharing data, even if not successful… Could have optional access to wider data sets, to the compressed video for easy viewing but maybe also HD huge files too…

Discussion: Policy

John: So what we’ve talked about already leads us to policy implications for service development. This may be legal issues (e.g. copyright, IPR); user generated content; licenses; access management; content management; data protection; data ownership and institutional IPR. Traditionally publishers owned the means of production and distribution and have high status with the University. But those issues of data ownership and institutional IPR are not well thought through. And that user generated content has issues of rights, license, access management.

After a lively discussion…

Table 1: How much do you need to worry about, how much is for institutions to worry about. Like data ownership etc. But you may need to worry about as a platform.

John: But we may need platform to support that, and therefore need to understand local platforms.

Table 1: And for access you’d want a lot of granularity of who might access these things, might be a large group or public, or might just be you, or just be a small group.

John: Clarity that that is possible could be a big winner.

Table 1: Having users fill in a field where they can state what they think the copyright is.

Trevor: A statement of intent?

Table 1: Yes, something that allows you to have a comeback is a collections owner comes back…

John: So it’s good for tracking, for due diligence. And maybe good for institutional procedures – for research projects where you need to know the rights involved. Might help raise awareness.

Table 2: Policy implications wise, there aren’t really any cases that shouldn’t already be covered by institutional policies. Licenses, derivative works, etc. should already by covered by institutional policies. Maybe some special cases…

John: Are the policies fit for purpose?

Comment: It is usually awareness not existence of policies which is usually

Table 3: Possibly a pop up indicating license and appropriate usage, so you know what you can do. Second aspect, if you can legally modify videos – why not do on desktop system offline, if not then how can this comply. Only the making of copies that this removes the issue for. Sorry for a super defeatist comment but how does this differ from what else is there.

Comment: I come at this from two places… Both the way into lumpy content, interrogate, search it, etc… And then also this more creative tool where you make something else available on the internet – alarm bells start ringing. For the creative side, why not use iMovie etc.

Comment: It’s not a video editing tool, it’s annotation. So clearly not that…

John: Useful to use, to make sure we describe it appropriately. It’s a challenge. We need to make it clear what we think can be done with it. We’ll take those comments on board and blog about it to try and make this all clearer.

Trevor: If you were just making clips.. .but in the context of research it’s more about annotations and descriptions etc. But when you have gone to that effort, you want it to look nice.

John: One of our original ambitions was to make it as easy for researchers to quote video and time based media as for print…

Comment: For digital preservation… preserving video is relatively difficult and is an ongoing process. Clips are basically JSON descriptions – easy to preserve.

Comment: A very good content. But I think being very clear on what this thing is for… And making it really good for these things. Really focusing on the annotations and textual aspects more.

Discussion: Service Development Implications

Trevor: Now for our final section we will talk about service development implications: scale – should it be individual, institutional, regional, national, international? Why bother? Benefits? Technical challenges – storage (e.g. 132 MB/s or 463 GB/h), transcoding and archiving; costs; metadata and data models.

Again, much discussion… 

John: We talked about scale of this system… There may be a role here for an individual service… For many here will be institutional… But may be national or international. Bandwidth could be an issue depending on resolution.

Table 4: Embargoes, on metadata, and issues of privacy, access, and license for annotations for the same reasons.

John: What about bandwidth?

Table 2: It depends on the video delivery…

Table 1: It’s not your issue really. It’s for content providers…

Trevor: It’s more institutional stuff then…

Comment: The system depends on you having a consistent URI for a playable version of a video… That may be an issue depending on how files are held.

John: What about a Service Level Definitions around persistent URIs? Would that fly?

John: And what about the role of cloud providers?

Several in the room indicate they are using them… 

Comment: Making annotations public will help others find your data.

John: Annotations coming up and up as being the things.

Comment: Costs wise it needs to be open source for people to import themselves? And if so, how can you skin it and brand it. And how often does it need maintenance and updates.

John: We are looking at sustainability options, that’s something we want to look at.

Trevor: This is currently funded under Jisc Research Data Spring initiative, and that is done in 3 phases… First stage is reaching out to show there is demand. This phase we are in now is developing our prototype it. And the third phase is to look at sustainability, things like support, update, development community, etc.

Trevor: The last bit for the day is to cover some technical stuff and go through some of that…

Technical Overview – Will

The system generates and stores HTML5 documents. And generates sharable URIs of playable clips and cliplists. JSON data structures (import/export CSV or XML). PHP scripts data handling with MySQL database and JavaScript interface. Responsible layout – computer, tablet and phone (already tested on iPad). And actually as you use a video on your system you can take a video in situ on tablet/phone. Will be free and open source software – the code will be posted to:

So, just to demonstrate, when you have a playlist you hit “publish” to publish your playlist in various formats. At the moment generates JSON data. A nice quick way to describe data. Annotations are becoming very important so we will need some comma separated tags, and access privileges as well.

Comments: Is there documentation for the code so far?

Trevor: Not yet but software and documentation

Will: Does anyone have any questions about technology elsewhere. We are using VideoJS. We are hosting this in a WordPress installation at the moment – that’s for logins and id generation as well.

Comment: API for Clipper? So others can use the annotations etc.

John: Also discussing a metadata editor for those creating their own annotations.

Comment: If sensitive data, and videos, then annotations might also want to be private… Rather than being on your server..

Trevor: We’d suggest an institutional instance.

Comment: Or could they get a private instance from you?

John: We are not at that stage yet, but that could be an option.

Complex: We haven’t talked much about searching capabilities.

Will: Anything in this text content should be searchable… Might be able to searchable across the board… Might be that when sensitive and private you might have to request access rather than seeing it.

John: Worth making the point that it has to be easy to import data into Clipper, and export data out of it. If this is in a library or archive… We could ingest catalogue information… Could ingest metadata and then come up with an instance to point to. So, e.g. for Scottish Screen Archive you could use shotlist to create clips automatically. So lots of potential when metadata rich environment. So could take in metadata to help generate your collection.

Trevor: Within a project you can search within that project, or more when at the higher level… So we want search to be contextual…

Comment: I think for effective searching you are going to want to have a more complex annotation data structure – so you can do filters, indexing etc. so less computationally taxing and more accurate for users.

Comment: Does the system log who has created which annotation? So you can track who does what on a research project.

John: And with that we will bring it to a close… Thank you all for coming.

Thanks to John, Trevor and Will for today’s workshop and to Gill and the NLS for hosting. If you are interested in attending the next Clipper workshops you can register/find out more here:

Feb 262015

Today I am at the College Development Network’s Getting Best Value from College Licences event, taking place at CDN’s offices in Stirling. I will be presenting on Jisc MediaHub (which I am, as of the beginning of this month, the service manager for – blog post on that to follow!) later this afternoon, along with my colleague Anne Robertson of the new Digimap for Colleges service, as part of the Jisc session. In the meantime I’ll be blogging the other talks as they take place. 

As always this is a LiveBlog so please do be forgiving of spelling/typos or other errors – comments and corrections welcome!

Coming up later on…

Welcome and Introductions – Jennifer Louden, Chair Librarians’ Development Network and Alan Rae, CS and CDN Copyright Adviser

Alan Rae is opening up the day by discussing the ongoing pressure on colleges to reduce costs, and asking those here if they feel they are getting value for money from CLA. And are we making best use of the materials out there, and I’m delighted we have representatives from Jisc here today, talking about Jisc MediaHub. Are we paying for things more than once? And are the creators of resources being appropriately reimbursed for what they do? And are the licences transparent enough? That’s what I do but even I find a few of them impenetrable.

Are you aware of the new exceptions? I’m not sure that all were aware of the previous exceptions, but the new exceptions seem to give us significantly more leeway than we had before… And if we don’t use them, we’ll lose them…

And with that I turn to our first speakers.

Creating Inclusive Experiences for Students Accessing Library Services – Margaret McKay, Subject Matter Expert – Inclusion, Jisc Scotland; Andy McMahon, Alternatives Formats Manager/IT Disability Support Specialist, University of Dundee

Margaret: I think that talking about how we can be inclusive, and accessible formats in digital media. I am from Jisc Scotland and there have been a lot of changes in Jisc recently. We now have account managers, some of whom are here today, as well as specialists – I’m the specialist in inclusion. But what do we mean by inclusion? Well it’s about ensuring that the systems we use are accessible, that the resources we produce, the formats we use and the activities we undertake is accessible. That is also about us as organisations being accessible and inclusive.

So, what else can we do? What are the quick things to do… Thinking about how we create headings and structures in documents, help texts etc. makes resources inherantly more accessible… And we have to be aware of the Equalities act, being sensitive to our practice and avoiding unreasonable practice. We have to think about images too – ensuring we use Alt text for images, a small thing that makes a really huge difference.

Within Microsoft Office there are automatic accessibility checks that can be used, these are worthwhile making use of. And you can also make use of “MS Office Speak” – which allows anyone reading a document to listen to what that document says… That’s great if you use it with the Scottish Voices – those are free voices from Coll Scotland, that can be used with this and other softwares.

All the main browsers have accessibility plugins – Safari Reader, Chrome Readability, Firefox Reader – these are great for struggling readers, there are text to speech tools we can use with learners too. And you can still access the enabling technology Jisc Tech Dis toolbox.

You might also want to provide information in Alternative Formats. Tools like Read and Write Gold, a software that assists dyslexic learners. There are free options too, like Balabolka. These allow you to turn text into MP3, to present that text differently. That’s software you can run from a memory stick. Libraries are also creating audio guides with tools like Audacity. And you can use tools like Xerte, which we’ll come back to. And if you do use multiformat learning materials you also need to think about, say, subtitles to help ensure that content is accessibility. You can also explicitly ask the learner if they need to access something in an alternative format – by adding a mechanism for them to request that alternative format.

One of the things aout the Equalities Act 2010 is that it is about making reasonable adjustments. Technologies are helpful. Students are aware that they have the right to use other formats etc. In England and Wales students there are changes to the disabled students allowance that helps them choose the tools to learn, and more of a focus on making the institution as a whole more accesisble.

Tech Dis also created some accessibility tools, including the “How accessible is your library?” Xerte tool. It enables you to go through, to answer questions that help you access the accessibility of your lirary… And within Adobe Reader you can do lots of things, fantastic accessibility features, that lets you work with Xerte, focus on particular content etc… There is also “The e-book platform checklist” available to help you assess e-books, including a check list for vendors during procurement – about colour changes, formatting, navigation, etc. – really useful questions for suppliers during the procurement process.

The changes in the Copyright law have big impact for learners with additional needs and disabilities, allowing resources to be adapted, changed, amended to make them accessible.

Load2Learn is a great resource, used mainly by schools but increasingly by Colleges and Universities and they are up for that… This repository allows the crowd to submit accessible versions of e-books, with Dyslexia and RNIB the organisations heavily involved in this resource.

Andy: I am talking about accessible books. The costs associated with making formats accessible can be high, it is hard to have like for like access to reading list materials. Until recently we received about £20k/year per student for making materials accessible. So what we do has to be very cost effective. For our students we have found that it is more important to have a wide variety of texts, so 95% of text is accessible rather than a small range of materials being more accurately converted/adapted.

So, if the source is a UoD owned ebook with a high level of accessible platform, it’s free to make accessible. Commercial ebooks like Kindle, iBooks, DRM free PDF it’s a same day service of £10-£50 per book. For an e-copy from the publisher to be readable it can take anywhere from 1 day to 3 months. The good ones can be fast and reasonable (e.g. Sage) but some are terrible. And the cost is around £50 per book. If we have a physical copy we can duplex automated copy (so you remove the spin and it is duplexed) – the cost is around £70/book but of course images are not described/made more accessible. If we had to do individual page by page scan to be readable it’s £300 per book. Individual page by page scan to be accessible it’s £800. If you outsource page by page scan to be accessible it’s more like £8000. Now we have 12 students we are supporting, and we deliver our whole service for £45k but that’s still a lot…

So, making the right decisions over procurement is crucial… You need to compare the market. I am not aware of libraries suing a publisher for their works not being accessible. Even our licence agreements from 8 years ago stated ebooks would be compliant with screenreader software JAWS. But they are not always. So we are strongly pushing our academics to switch providers towards the accessible providers. For us, in obtaining our materials, we look to an accessible library e-book platform, we look at Load2Learn which is a good site, we look then towards measures like scanning.

We have a webpage specifically to help in the procurement of e-books. We have providers with high levels of accessibility for disabled readers (Palgrave, Springer, Safari, Sage, Science-Direct, Pro-Quest – Literature online), some have some barriers (MyiLibrary, Wiley), some have significant barriers (EBL, NetLibrary, DawsonEra). Scottish HE Basically anything with downloadable PDFs tend to be more accessible, those where you have to use their own package/software to read tends to be less accessible.

So, we have iPad minis that are loaned to students from the service. They are pre configured for book and learning accss only. Books are availabe on our VLE (restricted access enabled). And using the iPads have broader use, it feels inclusive, the students don’t feel different from their peers.

We recommend with suppliers that tou don’t trust the supplier but actually go and check some sample texts… So you want to check reading flow, you want to try changing the background colour in adobe reader; try PDF reading on screen; And if you do use Read&Write Gold TextHelp there is a tool called “ScreenShot” (there is a good tour of this on YouTube) which lets you read anything on screen if it is clear, bypass all known protection technology, and enables students to copy and paste text into word as needed – for dyslexic students that copy typing is really tricky and not what they need to learn.

So, I just wanted to give you some practical help in procurement. One thing: We had a publisher who did not have a digital copy, but there was a perfectly formatted version on a Russian site online… It could cost us £10k to digitise a complex mathematical text… legally… Well legally we have a duty to provide access to equal information. We pay £60-£100 for a site licence for the book… The cost to make it accessible is many thousands… Well we can switch supplier for a better accessible copy for maybe £40 more than our original licence but there is also good potential in the new Copyright exemptions – if we make an alternative copy of a text we can now (explictly) share this with other institutions. And we can now subtitle someone’s video from YouTube without their permission. But we still have to notify publishers that we have made our alternative format copy. But to date we have had very little sharing of accessible copies.

Margaret: We do need to do more of this. My colleague used to work with publisher resources on accessibility, which will now move to Load2Learn. Structured PDF wasn’t seen as alternative enough by some publishers… Structured Word docs was seen as alternative enough.

Andy: I always say that PDFs are not one thing, many many different formats. I try to describe this to our medics as PDFs being like Cancer – one term but many many different things. So whenever you get a PDF you need to actually look into how accessible that is, it can mean so much.

Alan: I’m really pleased to hear that you raised the issue of exceptions there, some of those are really important for accessibility. And those slides will be circulated, also on the CDN website.

ERA and ERA Licences – Kathleen Roberts, Field Liaison Officer, ERA

I am the liaison officer for the whole of the UK for ERA, I am involved in outreach so going out and speaking to people in schools, universities and colleges.

A few years back we used to have something called the ERA service for off-air recording – what happened was that a sample of educational establishments was identified by the National Foundation for Educational Research – schools, colleges, language centres etc. They told us what they recorded from TV and Radio. We asked schools to report monthly. With colleges and Universities we asked the once per term. I would visit 80-100 educational establishments per year on using the licence, and what they were recording. But it fast became clear that our data was totally inaccurate!

The crunch came when a school of journalism told us that they were recording nothing. Our contact there was in the library. I just wasn’t sure I believed them so I contacted the School of Journalism directly… I started with staff in broadcast journalism – they recorded all news, Today programme, NewsNight, all of that stuff! So, I went back to the contact, showed her the material… she said “why aren’t they telling me about that”. And that once a term sheet was too much work to complete, so the staff weren’t bothering.

So, the system wasn’t working. We switched to a snapshot survey… In theory that should have been easier, but it was the same issue. So we have abandoned that too… We now rely on data from BOB, ClickView, custom schools services etc. From the electronic data we can see an enormous amount of usage going on, it’s very well utilised. People may pay a lot for this resource, but it is incredibly well used. A few years back I was at a large university and staff there complained, but before I could respond the people from the commercial IT and training section said they would give their right arm for the ERA licence – commercial licencing for a fraction of that material would have been much higher. I don’t make the policy but the service is high quality… where you can make the resources you need, that’s great. But where you want a professional, well produced repository of content ERA gives you access to that.

So, we now have a strategy of adding value to the basic ERA licence. We are trynig to give people extra. We have a strategy to do this… And I’m hoping some people here have seen the website, blog and case studies… I would like to get into some dialogue now or later on, or after the session, to get involved with ERA; to help us support licence users better… One of the sad things about losing the survey was that it did give us a chance to go out and talk to people. So, starting from September we want to meet with a small group of people to find out what you do, what you need. Individual visits are something we are happy to do. Let us know how we can improve the offer, how we can improve the support, we welcome that opportunity.

On our website we now have a series of resources to support ERA. We have a blog with some resources… Been doing this for about five months. We try to anticipate useful programmes that may be coming up, we’ve tried to put them in context in terms of the curriculum… So if there is a topic of curriculum level… if we spot something coming up as a broadcast we’ve tried to highlight it. We are just dipping our toe in the water… It may be that we aren’t doing it very well – but we’d love feedback either way… Could we do it better? How could we do it better? We wanted to use a blog to encourage people to subscribe… I wasn’t sure about that. We discussed putting in on the front page of the website… But in any case we wanted to add something beyond legalese on the website, to enrich the content. To provide material of use in teaching and learning…

As well as the blog we have some case studies, you will see that in the newsletters I’ve brought along today. We’ve tried to collect a series of these, and we’ve tagged them by level… I want some feedback on this. We have a massive problem curating our content… You are experts in content management, in curating material. We are trying to add more value, but we are very aware that the more we put on, the more difficult it is to access…

We also now have a Twitter feed. It’s not exactly riveting but it does let us tell you when we are, say, at BETT. But this should help to raise awareness of what is there. When I did my teacher training course it was hard to know about all of the resources that may be available. And it is also important to understand the role of licencing, and that there are appropriate ways to use licenced resources. We are not the copyright police, but we are here to enable appropriate use of licenced materials, to help organisations use material legally.

We want more people to know about the ERA licence. And we want to know more about what broadcast materials you want, and how we can help too. We are happy to write articles if that is helpful. And how do we reach out – are there networking meetings we should be attending? Is there material we should be producing to curate materials? We aren’t currently organising materials in terms of curriculum areas… All of the blog posts and case studies.. would they be better organised by subject areas? What works best? Perhaps we need a Pinterest board to organise them?

I am conscious that we need more examples of good practice. We’d really like good practice in using broadcast materials… People like trainee teachers would value a lot of guidance and support with using broadcast materials, also those in HE and FE. The use of less obvious materials or off the wall examples are particularly good. For instance the use of The Simpsons in teaching maths [see Simon Singh’s book on all the sneaky books on maths], and people have also used The Simpsons in business classes to talk about “pester power”. So, we want case studies, inventive and innovative uses… If you are doing interesting things, we’d love to hear about it. We don’t promise they will have a starring role, but we do want to give you credit for what’s being done well…

So, how many have had a look at the blog and case studies before today? It looks like mostly not but I’d love you to go away today, take a look, and do send some feedback… We are a small team and we’d like to work smarter – and that means your ideas, your input, your feedback would be so valued by us.

Comment: I’m one of the main recorders for ClickView in my college. ERA seems quite passive to me… I never thought to go to you for advice on what to record. The process is easy, but finding what is needed and talking to staff… That’s what’s time consuming. So the blog looks really good. I saw one of the posts featured Horrible Histories though, not really appropriate for FE… So something more suitable, or a calendar of what’s coming up…

KB: So if we made an FE blog that was separate would that be good? Or would subject areas be better?

Comment: I go back to the older licences… I’m looking at various services… We have multiple sites and staff in particular curriculum areas and that is what matters. Some people do this anyway, some subject experts are already great at tracking what is needed, but others do need those subject focuses for the people who we still need to engage… They want to know what’s there for business, for construction, etc… Stuff specific to their areas…

KB: We don’t want to replace ClickView of BOB, and their searchable databases, but we do want to support those who don’t use those services. One of big college consortiums in England have a huge shared database with learning resources and materials, but that’s their own in-house integrated system. So we are particularly keen to reach those without a system, those partially covered. And we’d love a case study for every curriculum area… But then there are levels within there… We are not doing too badly for the first 5 months.

Comment: Can I embed video clips in my VLE?

KB: All our case studies are text based so far…

Comment: But that’s a good point, and resources on getting videos into VLEs etc. that would be very useful…

KB: We don’t have video material yet… but we may…

Comment: Would those case studies/examples be Creative Commons licenced?

KB: Might not be an issue if we have the examples… those case studies are the results of 3 years on the ground, following up THES articles, blogs etc. It’s really hard to tap into how teachers use materials in their learning and teaching materials. They don’t always want to be the focus of attention. But we are trying to help them see themselves as role models or exemplars. But one of ours commented that they didn’t think they were doing anything different/special… But the feedback we’ve had on that particular person has been very complimentary.

One example we have, on schools and weather forecasts… the teacher created a whole project out of that, measuring wind and rain… talking about precipitation… And when they came to using a whiteboard, choosing a style based on broadcast versions… The interesting thing was that the real learning outcome for that teacher was the confidence and the communication in the students, something that added to the science learning.

If anybody would like to get more involved, to chat to  me in your institutions, please do email me and then maybe we can work together to create something useful to yourselves.

Alan: Kathleen is very enthusiastic about the amount of recordings. We don’t have surveys… The ERA licence is good but I get reports that few of us are using those recordings – just how much use are you making of ERA Licences? I know YouTube is the elephant in the room.

Comment: I still don’t know what others in my college do!

KB: We do know when people sign up to BOB or ClickView…

Alan: But how many here sign up to those systems? [few shown] Those systems do, though, record exactly what is used and how often… So can’t we just pay for those? And those systems have subscription costs in addition to ERA Licences. And we have YouTube, and we have Jisc MediaHub available too of course… It is a benign licence. It’s always been there, I used it massively in a previous role. I also used TRILT to help me plan what I would use – a BUFVC service there.

KB: Those using ClickView or BOB – are you using it?

Comment: Yes, and we use it a lot!

Alan: That’s fine… If we get £1 million in value, that’s fine… Lets talk about add ons, development… But anecdotally I’m not sure that colleges feel they are getting value for money.

Comment: For a lot of staff people think of ERA as restricting and policing, rather than enabling. We try to educate them but there is so much to do to promote ERA as an enabling service, as a way to make resources available. It’s been seen as a thing for people who deal with copyright licencing only.

KB: We are trying to do that now…

Alan: We are producing the next generation of producers and users. Copyright will not go away. It is an essential part of your toolkit as teachers, and support staff…

KB: We used to have a separate Open University licence, that’s now part of ERA, so you are now getting more than you used to too!

And with that we come to our next speaker…

Overview of CLA/NLA Licences – Julie Murray, Education Licences Manager, CLA Gursh Sangha, Education Support Manager, CLA

The Copyright Licence Agency now also have the Newspaper Licence Alliance Education Establishment Licences

Gursh supports educational organisations, Julie reviews queries and feeds into support.

Gursh: We will be talking about what this licence means in real terms. So do look out for tips in your institution about getting best value from your licence. Recently CLA took over the Newsprint Licence Alliance so we’ll focus on that in the latter half of our talk.

The CLA licence permit education establishments to make copies of materials, books, journals, prints, some online materials and subscription content. The licence covers millions of titles from the UK and Overseas. And the college can copy from any materials it owns or subscribes to, and those from the British Libraries. The licence allows you to copy without having to notify the copyright holder every time. And we also pay licence fees back to the copyright owner. And by making copies we are talking about photocopying, printing, etc.

Julie: So the benefit of this sort of licence gives you the flexibility to make copies as a course changes, as you decide on later resource purchases, etc. And the CLA licence does allow you to build packages of resources. Students are good at scanning materials quickly, assessing materials… but they like having materials to take away with them for deep reading.

The 5% limit in the agreement doesn’t mean all from one chapter… It can be useful to, say, take from early in a text, then further content from later in the text… that has possibilities in English Literature, in science too perhaps… It enables creative use of these copies in the classroom. And the CLA is intended to compliment your regular purchases of resources. So you might purchase a key text, but also provide a small portion of a text that argues with that core text and adds to students understanding.

Practically photocopying can be done on or offsite. In terms of scanning you can use that in the classroom, by email but also in VLEs. When we consider all the devices students have, the scanning part of the licence helps facilitate that, and also the “flipped classroom” where the student prepares in advance and brings those ideas back to the classroom. You can also annotate the scan as long as you don’t obscure the text – prompts at appropriate places in the text for instance.

The digital part of the licence covers website… Links to websites can change, material can change… And in-house copy enables you to know you have that in-house. With subscription materials you can use either your primary licence or the CLA licence, whichever is more generous. So if you have a subscription for 10 students, but 100 students you might use CLA for a reading from that text, whilst also having that subscribed to text available throughout the year under the primary licence. You can reuse materials you’ve scanned or copies if still in good condition. You can use the same texts in different ways/copy different parts provided they are for different courses of studies.

The CLA licence covers all UK publications, It also covers a range of other territories – some for the full three types of copying, some for copying and scanning only, some for copying only. We also have specific publishers that we work with over their international territories. You can find a list on the website but we also welcome suggestions of publishers to approach… We also have websites and magazines that are also covered by the licence – about 55o and a list organised by students is coming up.

Gursh: We have good practice materials, and we ask Licensors to help raise awareness in their organisations. We strongly recommend staff inductions on copyright and why that is important. On our website though we also have best practice guides and case studies. For instance some organisations do copyright health checks, they also remind colleagues to ensure all copies come through the central department that manages those copies.

We also have a specific site for colleges: This enables you to check permissions. We recommend searching by ISBN… So if we look up Nursing Times, for instance, you can view the permissions for licence type (in this case FE). It quickly shows you the permissions for that publication. If you get stuck we have a dedicated email address ( where you can ask questions. We also have a free phone app (iOS and Android) which enables staff to scan a barcode to check a publication quickly and easily.

Julie: If you see an explanation mark in the check permissions tool then it may not mean that it’s not available, and we have lots of resources on how to use that…

Gursh: We welcome all questions, suggestions, and we log all queries to inform the support we give you. For instance recent reviews of FE comments suggest that succinct information at the beginning of the academic year would be valuable for colleges – so we are creating bitesize materials and webinars. And if you would like a specific webinar, do get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

We are always keen to improve and develop. There are pilots we are starting to do in the HE sector, and we’ve started to talk to colleges in England and Wales about this, which is an extended permissions services. This is about licencing a second chapter or article on a per-transactional basis, if that exceeds the standard 5%.

Julie: I’ll now talk about the NLA Education Establishment Licence. We took this on in spring 2014. We are still separate legal entities but the idea is to reduce the administrative burden on educational establishments. The NLA licence covers all UK regional publications, and you can copy from 5 of them. And there are various levels that extend to more ranges of regional and international publications. If you teach a lot of languages, you may want to copy from a wider range of titles for instance. You can check these permissions in the same check permissions tool – don’t be alarmed if it shows a publication is not covered by CLA if it is covered by the NLA licence. And of course newspaper articles can be useful in nursing, looking at a health issue and it’s coverage for instance, in tourism, etc.

Gursh: There are some differences in the NLA: you can copy the whole publication, there is not a 5% limit. But the storage limits are much shorter, you can store (digitally) for 28 days. But there are add ons to allow you to circulate materials to the whole organisation. If you want to use an article to publicise your organisation there is another commercial add on. There is a lot there and we welcome your comments and questions.

Julie: We’d love your questions now or later – and we’d be happy to record this session to share with colleagues too…

Alan: I get to speak to both ERA and CLA on a regular basis… We look to get licences that are increasingly fit for purposes… but first, others for questions…

Q1: We’ve just been through the data collection excercise, looking at the results of that. The results have been very low. I’m interested in the extended permissions service and the transactional service model. Are you planning to move the core service to a transactional model?

Julie: Because our licences are through agreements with copyright holders and that’s for a blanket licence. The data collection process is there for rewarding our copyright holders. The add ons are to allow further usage but the core licence isn’t under review there…

Gursh: We are always reviewing what we do but the add ons and extended permissions are very early pilot stage.

Q1: It was a great licence 10 years ago, but we are increasingly moving to digital so I’m not sure we really get the value from the licence anymore… That licence goes up year on year but we are using paper and photo copies less and less…

Gursh: Our director is looking at these issues but we can’t really discuss those issues here today, that’s a longer term issue for our director to look at this.

Q1: We have cuts to front line  services right now and that makes these costs a real concern for us.

Julie: Events like today are so useful for us to think about and understand that. Hopefully we’ve shared the tips to help use the licence more, but it’s also up to use to really look at what we can do.

Q2: Recently as our colleges have merged we’ve radically cut book stock… So we photo copy less… But we also know that we need to prove that we have paid for an item to use a copy… But we may have copies that we now find we have disposed of the original print version…

Julie: That ownership is print of digital… So if you have either a book or a digital copy that applies. But mergers are a major complexity, and thank you for raising that and we can think about how we support that.

Gursh: We appreciate that complexity… We don’t have guard dogs!

Comment: We are in a reprographics department… We need to educate the staff who request our services. We still use huge amounts of copies from magazines, journals, etc.

Julie: How many organisations are attached to their reprographics departments?

Alan: Decreasing numbers these days. It’s good to have Julie and Gursh here. Do you feel you get value for money from your CLA licence?

Comment: Some of our lecturing staff aren’t aware that we need to own materials to copy them… That’s an issue for us.

Julie: How many of you have a VLE here? [most do] And is it BlackBoard of Moodle? [Mainly Moodle]

Jennifer: There is now a SLIC tool for Moodle to flag up any texts, images, videos to ensure that you are checking copyright and rights as well as reference checking information. It’s freely available from the resource site from CDN website. Those resources also help you find access to open materials, licenced materials etc.

Alan: I think that will be an extremely useful plugin. We have to think again about the issue of transactional licencing, as raised by Jennifer… Historically looked too tricky administratively but with phone apps, etc. that becomes more possible. I’m very keen that what we pay for, goes back to the people who pay for it… When you pay CLA, the CLA take a slice for administering the system, that goes back to licencing organisations who take a slice, and some back to the actual creators… But it really matters that we understand what we pay for. And that we only pay for what we using or needing.

Gursh: We did look at a plugin for checking licenced materials… That wasn’t as smooth a process as we’d hoped for building that into college workflows as we’d liked but we are looking at it.

Julie: I’d just like to thank you all again for your comments, it’s been so helpful for us and I hope it has been helpful for you.

British Universities Film and Video Council (BUFVC) – Helen Fitton, Marketing and Events Manager, BUFVC

It’s always lovely to be back in Scotland! I’m here to talk about BUFVC and our Box of Broadcasts (bob), I know we have a number of colleges here in Scotland including some of you here today…

We are a charity and a membership organisation. We “promote the production, study and use of moving image, sound and related media within learning, teaching and research”. So we are all about opening up this type of material for use… And we want it be there to enhance teaching and learning. We see ourselves as a bridge to enable you to use this material. We have been around since 1948 so we have a wealth of knowledge. We were set up by academics but although our name says “Universities” our trustees are both from HE and FE, 95% of our members are linked to education, and we are focused on both HE and FE. And one of our fundamental aspects is that our resources are accessible by all staff and all students – accessed by Athens/Shibboleth – which means they can find what they need.

We have a helpdesk with queries coming in every day, amazing questions like “do you have video of the battle of Waterloo”, er, no… But we get a wealth of questions and, as a charity, we connect you to other resources so we aren’t just about selling our resources but also connecting you to the resources you need whoever may provide  them.

We do access, expertise, advocacy, and research. A lot of our work is based around research projects. Bob started as a research project with Bournemouth, then became a research project with the BBC and with Jisc. We are all about research and about working with partners.

Our resources include:

  • TRILT – two weeks of listings… like a super enhanced Radio Times, but for everything ever broadcast. And information on how you get hold of it. There are over 20 million items are in TRILT. Everything broadcast in the UK since 2001 is there, most broadcast since 1998 is there too.
  • Moving Image Gateway
  • News on Screen
  • BoB National
  • Chronicle
  • Off Air Back up Recording Service
  • Shakespeare on Screen – open to absolutely everyone!

So, our off air recording service has two elements. We have hard copies (DVDs) and we have BoB. Basically we don’t want a telly on a stand being ignored in the corner. We want film and TV used to make a point quickly in the classroom, as part of teaching, a few minutes to make a point that a lecture could not…

So, for example I have a clip used by Anna Bankman, a Senior Lecturer in Business and Marketing. She uses the clip in how to pitch and sell a product. The clip is very engaging for students. She has a great quote that “if people think education and entertainment are different things, then they don’t understand either”. [cue clip from Watson & Oliver (9th May 2013) on pitching a business which is “both global and international”]. You can see that’s the perfect clip of what not to do! [and indeed it is]

Our off air back up DVDs/CDs includes the stuff you might miss with your ERA licence. Ring us up – as a member you get an allocation of copies per year of back up copies. We have blanket recordings from 1997; 10 channels 24/7; AV library of 1.5 million programmes. I don’t know of anything similar that you can access in this way. When we send you out DVDs you can keep them forever, you can copy thems, but you have to use them in line with the ERA licence: only for teaching, learning and research. You can’t use for personal use, and you can’t edit them into other programmes (which we do get all along). Many of the orders for those recordings come through TRILT. One thing that takes a long time for librarians is finding content, TRILT lets you set up alerts for keywords, programme names, etc. We are always making it easier for you to access the content you need.

BoB is our online off air shared recording service. One of the things I love about my job is going online, on Twitter, and seeing how students describe BoB National, e.g. “iPlayer on steroid”! To access to BoB you need an ERA licence, you need a machine of some sort, and an Athens/Shibboleth log in. And you can view, record, create clips from 60+ TV and radio channels, including an archive of 1.2 million programmes. Anything that anyone records, is accessible to everyone using BoB. It was launched in 2009, overhauled in 2014. We have 85 members using BoB. We don’t delete anything because you never know how these programmes and clips can be used… Sometimes it’s the adverts, sometimes it’s comedy – like the clip I showed. Anything can be used in an educational way. We have 10 foreign language channels, we have recording budder of at least 30 days from 67 channels, and we have BBC Archive from 2007.

So, on the homepage of BoB you can see highlights from the collection, you can see Tweets etc. And you can go to “Programme Guide” to explore the materials. Anything in Green are available to view. Yellow is being transcoding and will be available. Red hasn’t yet been broadcast and recorded. Those in blue can be requested, and you can request a certain number in any 24 hour period…

It is the ERA licence that allows you to access this content. Every one of the 1.2 million programmes is licenced under ERA – there is a disclaimer on the page for every item to show that the limitations are that they must be used for “non-commercial educational purposes under the terms of the ERA licence”.

When looking at an item, you can search the transcript for key mentions. You can mark a section. You can make a clip of a programme. You can share a clip in your VLE, by email with students, or on your website (though anyone has to login to view).  Some feedback we had a few years back was that students are not comfortable citing TV and Radio so we have a “How to Cite” section on the page to make that easy. And there are loads of sharing options. You can save clips to “My BoB”. You can also create playlists, and create a playlist along with some text about that playlist that gives context… It is normal for students to have reading lists, it should be normal for students to have viewing lists. Some additional BoB features: iOS compatibility; playlists; transcripts.

There are so many benefits of BoB. First and foremost you know you are using legal content. Some lecturers use YouTube, much of what is in there is uploaded illegally so there is an issue there. But you also have no control of YouTube, of whether a clip or programme will come down – even if it is legal. It then can’t be referenced or used. So, the way it is with audio visual items in education is that there can be real fragility about that material. With our materials you know you can have them forever, for your students to have them forever, to use them for education and research.

The only constraints of BoB is that you cannot access content outside of the UK. You cannot edit the content. You can make clips for showing in class, you can make playlists. And you cannot make any use outside education – the licencing and clearance process is very different, and also a lot more expensive.

But BoB is a real break for education, video is such a great way to make content more engaging for students, to provide new ways into your material.

Q1: The example you showed had a transcript… Do those videos include captions, so that students can see what has been said as well as hear it.

HF: When you view a programme you can switch subtitles on and off, but you can also see the rolling transcript – they will be there and you can watch them.

Q1: Does that apply to all videos?

HF: We had a big upgrade in late 2014. All programmes since then have this, anything previously does not have that functionality. That is down to the broadcasters who now let us have that information (but didn’t previously).

Q1: How does that work in terms of earlier content and accessibility… Could it be adapted to add captions under the new Copyright agreement

HF: We do have subtitles IF it was broadcast with subtitles…

Q1: But can someone from a college now add their own substitles…

Alan: I would say that it could be done… But you’d have to work with the rights holder and the licencing agency. The exception lets you do that… But its about improving the learning technology – so that would be about working with BUFVC and BoB, if you are talking about sharing that with others.

Q1: Assuming something doesn’t have captions, thinking about older content

Comment: Fine to do your own subtitles locally… are you talking about adding into BoB

Q1: I guess I’m asking about that

HF: The rolling transcripts is a major bonus, a huge help to have. But the question of adding to earlier content…

Alan: The only thing I can think of is to get the DVD, and adapt it… Simple solution would be that. There’s usually a way…

HF: When you make your clips the transcripts are great, and let you do that quickly with searches.

Alan: One of the issues highlighted already today is just finding out what is out there… I know about BUFVC, BoB etc… increasingly you know about this stuff because commercially you have to subscribe to BoB or ClickView…

Comment: ClickView is different – clips expire

HF: The main difference between BoB and ClickView is that we have everything and it doesn’t expire. ClickView expires after 30 days but you can upload your own recordings. We get requests for that, but as a shared service that comes with lots of issues. We charge on a flat basis. ClickView is banded and you have to manage your own recordings and your own storage…

Licensing Requirements for Public Use of Films – Robert Darling, Account Executive, Filmbank Distributors Ltd (by video)

Alan: We have two services now, Filmbank and the Motion Picture Licencing Company (MPLC). Whilst we get set up for Robert’s talk… I will be talking later about discussions on continuing licences for ERA. And a wee bit of news on that, which is that ERA will not be putting up their licences for us this year. Some more details to work out but that’s where it’s at so far.

Alan: Mr Darling doesn’t seem to be available! So straight onto Jisc…

Alan: You only need to use Filmbank or MPLC if you are showing films outwith ERA licence terms. Filmbank can provide you with films as prints, DVD, etc. For film screenings for film clubs etc.

Me: Also Park Circus and BFI.

Alan: BFI sometimes share things on YouTube as well. Again, the elephant in the room… I am always amazed by how little Colleges are enthused about moving from licenced to non-licenced/open materials but they use YouTube, despite the licences being about private non commercial use on the whole. And when there are BoB and other relevant resources out there. But you have to know them there.

And now a random aside…

Alan: FireFox has just launched “Hello”, a Skype type system

Penny: It’s seems good and easy to use.

Jisc Collections – Catherine John, FE Licensing Manager, Jisc Collections; Anne Robertson, Geodata Projects and Services Manager at EDINA; Nicola Osborne, Jisc Media Hub Service Manager and Digital Education Manager

The Jisc Model Licence – Catherine John

I’m just going to start by saying a bit about the Jisc Model Licence… This allows you to use something that you don’t own but you lease the item, in this case digital content, and it allows you to use that content under particular restrictions.

So, to use the analogy of a hire car… you could lease it to a friend in a physical way, but you that doesn’t mean you should or can legally do that.  Digital content is the same. And the Jisc Model Licence is there to complement existing copyright law. So why do we have this model licence rather than publisher licences? Well it is for consistency across resources, and intended to help organisations make the best use of material to it’s fullest potential.

There are different licences depending on the content, format, or length of time. The licences are regularly updated to reflect changes in technology, in the law, and also changes in Higher and Further Education. So, the thing we get asked in FE most often is “who is an authorised user”. That’s up to the college. As are the terms of walk in users. Another thing we get asked is about Inter Library Loans – you can, that’s one of the reasons that our licence is as broad as possible. In the current sub licence we have Clauses 3 and 4 is about permitted usage… Some variance of parts of materials you can use – sometimes the items themselves, sometimes just a link. We do get questions about continuations of access, and post cancellation access – when issues arise we will always seek legal advice to protect the college.

In English law there is a requirement for both parties to exchange something of value for a contract to be enforceable in court – this is why you see “peppercorn” referred to – meaning a small payment of some type. Licences do get updated but we protect confidentiality, and limits on liability. We try to make things as realistic and enforceable as possible. If you ever have any questions about the licence please always ask us rather than the publishers.

Sometimes we do accept more restricted licences – for instance for the British Standards materials – but only where the resources are highly valued enough for that to be acceptable.

[There were some significant issues with the video conference]

Penny: If you have any questions about Jisc Collections, and licencing, please do ask me and get in touch.

Digimap for Colleges – Anne Robertson

I’m talking about quite a different resource today, I’m talking about mapping data in Digimap for Colleges…

Myself and my colleague Nicola are both based at EDINA, we run a number of services funded by Jisc as well as some services funded by others. But we are here to talk about two services funded by Jisc.

We’ve been running Digimap for about 15 years for HE, and Digimap for Schools for about 5 years. Although Digimap has been available to FE for some time it wasn’t being taken up that well so Jisc asked us to create a new service and that is Digimap for Colleges. It is a different service, it is free to use, and it includes a number of learning resources mapped to the curriculum – and it’s not just for geographers.

Digimap for Colleges runs across browsers, there is no set up to do, you don’t need to host data, you just access it via those browsers – and it works on both laptops/desktops but also tablets. And we have learning resources at the moment, but we’d love to see more learning resources from other areas of the curriculum too so do give us your thoughts on what would be useful.

We have a YouTube channel with support materials and guides, and we also share information on Twitter. The main thing that Digimap for Colleges enables is the annotation of the map – fantastic resource for identifying locations for a potential new business with your plumbing students for instance. You can measure distances, calculate areas, you can colour in areas of the map, you can search for features. You can upload photos/any image (jpg, png) so you could upload charts, graphs etc. into the map. You can use annotation to track building use in an area, create a key, etc. And whenever you generate a map the copyright statement is always shown. The maps can be saved as PDFs or JPGs, to share in the class room, to drop into word documents.

What are people are saying about the service? Really lovely things – it is being used in Childcare courses, in Construction classes, in the Public Services Course. The link and the banner are in the VLE in one college, that also sees those resources used in fieldtrips and activities.

The terms and conditions of the service are really quite flexible. Maps can be used in learning materials, maps can even be used and annotated on your college website – that’s really fantastic!

And please do come and join users! We already have 172 subscribed, 8 of them in Scotland. It’s a really simple subscription process.

Alan: Thank you Anne, very much. When I was at Dundee we used maps in construction and with PE… In those days licence was with OS directly. And OS have rebranded lately! New governance too. But an exceptionally good service and usage here.

Q1: Are you thinking of using geospatial data in terms of historic maps?

Anne: If I go back to that slide about Digimap products. Digimap – which isn’t free but is available for the FE sector – does enable you to download data, do much more, and that includes historical data. We wanted Digimap for Colleges to be a clear offering, but that functionality is there.

<my talk happened here>

It’s Good to Talk – Alan Rae 

I was just going to give you an update on what is happening across licences… We are talking to CLA and there are alternatives too – but not sure Colleges would sign up to that. Then we have PRS and PPL licences – if you play any recorded music you need both licences. PRS gives money to publishers and lyracists, the money from BPL goes to producers and performers. Total confusion… PRS and BPL have been trying to fit into colleges commercial licences. We come back to exceptions. Section 34(2) allows you to play music on campus, where you replicate the ambience of the real work. PRS and BPL have tried to give us a principally commercial licence – they think our training hairdressing salons compete with commercial salons for instance, which they do not. And I find that few colleges actually tell students that they need to have a licence to play recorded music in professional premises. BPL and PRS have different metrics for licensing. PRS use FTEs, which has it’s own issue, and how much money you receive in the place of playing. BPL want the range in which music is heard. But we will be moving to a combined licence now… So you have that exception for curriculum related playing of music and you would have a licence for other uses on campus, based on a simple head count because we have moved away from FTEs – and funding models are so different in England – so we are doing a process of business models… We are trying to find a reasonable rate so that we come out of this cost neutral. These aren’t big costs, the CMOs are just those you have to go to if you want to use this material. At the moment it would be head count. We had hoped we might have news for the new academic year in August… won’t quite make that date but we are pushing forwards. When the government announced the exceptions last year they were clear that they wanted to make any works available… So that’s where we are with PRS and BPL.

ERA are keeping prices the same, reportoire may increase but all to be confirmed.

CLA still in negotiation.

But I also want to persuade you to look at the exceptions… There is room for interpretation here… They want to free up education, but all fall under “fair dealing”. That is not “fair use” like in the US, that would be very different. So those exceptions, in the new legislation, has been simplified…

Firstly it must be for non-commercial purposes. Be very very careful what you do with a commercial licence in a college… That’s why we are fortunate that we have Jisc MediaHub and BUFVC it would be hugely expensive to get this stuff on the open market, but we need to be careful we don’t abuse that privilege.

Secondly it must be by or for education.

Third aspect is an acknowledgement where “practicable”. It’s the same as CC licences – the most popular version is the simple CC-BY as long as you attribute them. Much of what we put out here is CC-BY. Acknowledgement is always always strongly recommended. That means any comments or complaints or questions can go back to the creator – it’s not only about crediting materials.

There will be a guide, that will be sent out soon. Those exemptions allow us to make more liberal uses of materials. You don’t have to state that you are using an exemption… But you have to understand and be able to justify that usage. Lots of changes!

I hope you have found today useful, I have certainly found it useful to see all of these alternatives, all of these resources…

One thing I hope will work, is the “Copyright Hub” ( Just as the new exemptions came from Professor Hargreaves’ report in 2010/11, once recommendation was the idea of “copyright exchanges”. It’s something that won’t really impact large scale licences… This will be much more impactful on small organisations, creators, etc. You will get to the stage very soon where if you or a colleague makes up a learning package and you really want an image or video… you should be able to right click to tell you if you have a licence or not. It may say “no, but we’ll sell you one’ – and you can click and pay there and then… What we are used to in the retail world being brought to the education and domestic world. I’d love to think that everyone understands copyright but really many do not. People don’t like being caught for that. So the idea is that you can find the copyright holder, the licence you have or the item you can buy… I’m trying to encourage CLA to work for that… There are working ways to do that… It’s expensive but it’s doable… We are into micro payments these days, elements of that has to come into education… We don’t have the administration to support other models and that’s what our students are used to.

I would recommend the Copyright Hub but I would also recommend – it is part of the Create scheme, they have lots of events in Glasgow in March. They have government funding for this exceptionally good website. The CLA and ERA have good website. PRS now have a superb video to explain the difference between PRS and BPL. But that Copyright User website is beautifully illustrated – and they have some great case studies. And the BBC now has a site – “Copyright Aware” – which is again beautifully illustrated, and very good. That visual stuff is so important that the illustrations matter, our students are really visually aware and engaged.

I would remind you all of exception 29: research and private study. If you don’t need to make multiple copies… give them the URL. CLA applies to multiple copies only remember.

As I said earlier, we are producing the next generation of producers and users. It’s not going away… Copyright is here, it’s not going away… It’s evolving… But digital copyright is a thing we can track, so we really need to understand this stuff.

And with that we close a very interesting day!