No. 76 November 2011

JISC Legal Monthly Newsletter: November 2011

Legal Guidance for ICT Use in Education, Research and External Engagement

Welcome to the November 2011 JISC Legal Monthly Newsletter (No 76).

In this newsletter issue we have stories on defamation and the proposals to increase protection for scientists and academics as well as news of the consultation on improving the FOI publication scheme arrangements. Other items include the launch of the IPO free patent service and a privacy awareness campaign by the ICO to help learners protect information about their social lives.

Don't forget our popular Cloud Computing and the Law Toolkit and the short video by Jason introducing the toolkit makes easy watching and is available here -

JISC Legal continues to offer great value expert in-house training on FOI, copyright, data protection and e-safety to colleges and universities. If your institution is looking for relevant sector specific expertise in these significant areas then our on-site staff development packages are for you. Find out the details of JISC Legal Plus at -

Our FAQ of the Week on our home page this week answers the question "What are the copyright issues in lending Kindles and ebooks to students?" Our FAQs are organised by Legal Areas, Themes and Projects and can be accessed here -

Law Watch items this month include an update on the progress of the Protection of Freedoms Bill and an examination of an ECJ case on Cross-border Licensing in Europe and the Temporary Copies Exemption.


Your round-up of the latest news stories...

Online Risks for Learners
Figures taken from a YouGov Plc online survey indicate that four out of ten students online (42%) are concerned that personal information available about them online might affect their future employment prospects. The survey was conducted in the context of the ICO launching a privacy awareness campaign to provide students with the advice they need to protect themselves from obvious dangers such as identity theft and keeping their social lives private. Further details of the ICO campaign are available on the ICO website at -  

ICO Consults on Changes to FOI Publication Schemes
The ICO would like to see sustainable changes to publication schemes which would gradually improve the level and range of information routinely made available to the public.  The consultation document poses questions such as are there any new classes of information which should be added to the ICO’s current model publication scheme and are there any amendments which should be made to the types of information listed in the sector based definition documents.  The consultation documents are available on the ICO website at - and the closing date for responses is 21 December 2011.

New Briefing Paper on Remote Access to Electronic Resources
This JISC Collections briefing paper includes FAQs on what is and is not permitted regarding remote access to resources by staff and students in partner institutions. The guidance covers partner institutions both in the UK as well as in other countries.  It explains and clarifies what is permitted and what is restricted under the model licence which JISC Collections has negotiated with publishers for resources and includes suggestions as to a possible way forward when access is prohibited.  The guidance is available from the JISC Collections website at -

Defamation - Academics to get Increased Protection

The Joint Committee on the Draft Defamation Bill has published its report on defamation law.  The committee argues that the law has not kept pace with the development of modern communication culture.  It proposes a new notice and take-down procedure for the internet, designed to provide a quick and easy remedy for those defamed online and better protection to online publishers.  Internet hosts would gain the protection of the law provided they act responsibly by following the new procedure.  This will be of interest to all those in FE and HE involved in web publishing.  Any anonymous postings must be taken down upon complaint, unless authors are prepared to identify themselves or there is an overriding public interest in publication.  The report also recommends that a provision is added to the draft Bill extending qualified privilege to peer-reviewed articles in scientific and academic journals.  Scientists and academics must not be left in fear of being sued simply for doing their job, the report has said.  The full report can be accessed on the UK Parliament website at -

New Research into Universities and Relationship with FOI

The UCL Constitution Unit has started a new research project to look at the relationship of universities, their academics and researchers, and FOI and EIR. It will look at how academics use FOI in relation to their own research and from the other side, the impact information requests have on universities. The project is scheduled from October 2011 until July 2012 and will include analysis of FOI requests and appeals and case studies to help inform a good practice guide. More information on the background and the project proposal is available on their project page at - and the UCL Constitution Unit blog can be accessed at -

Online Access to Patent Files

A free patent service has been launched by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).  The new online service, called Ipsum, will remove the cost of requesting patent documents.  Instead they will now be available for free online.  Previously each document requested would cost £5 and by the time it had been delivered it might already be out of date.  Crucially it is now possible to immediately understand why the Intellectual Property Office did, or did not, grant a patent.  Access to Ipsum - the Online Patent Information and Document Inspection Service is available here - The word ipsum is from Latin meaning 'the very thing itself' and is a reference to the Latin origin of 'patent' and that the service allows users to see the very patent documents themselves.

Protection of Freedoms Bill Edges Closer to Becoming Law
The Protection of Freedoms Bill was read for the third time and passed by the House of Commons on 11 October 2011.  The Bill will now be considered by the House of Lords.  Of specific interest to FE and HE institutions are provisions relating to extending the scope of the Freedom of Information Act to provide greater transparency, the creation of a new ‘right to data’ so that government-held datasets can be requested and used by the public and then published on a regular basis, ensuring that all data published by public bodies is published in an open and standardised format so that it can be used easily and with minimal cost by third parties.  For further details refer to JISC Legal's Law Watch item here -

Private Use of Foreign TV Decoders not Unlawful
In this case (ECJ - Football Association/Murphy) Ms Murphy did not break any law by receiving the transmission of a football match via a Greek TV decoder.  However by showing the football matches (which contained elements that were the copyright of FAPL such as graphics and pre-recorded highlights) on a pub TV this was considered to be communication of the copyright work to the public which is an act restricted to the copyright holder. The court held that using a foreign decoder privately is not in breach of any licence or copyright but communicating the football match to the public in a student union, for example, is likely to be a breach of copyright.  For more details of this case you can read the related JISC Legal Law Watch item here -


Guidance that may be of interest to you ...

Briefing Paper on Remote Access to Electronic Resources This JISC Collections briefing paper "Access to electronic information resources for overseas students" includes FAQs on what is and is not permitted regarding remote access to resources.

The most recent as well as upcoming JISC Legal publications will appear initially on the JISC Legal website on our All Guidance page -


Latest Events

Events that might interest you...

JISC Advance is running three workshop sessions at the NIACE Learning in a Digital World Conference - Friday 4 November 2011.

Mobile Learning - Innovating e-Learning 2011 Conference (Online 15/11/2011)
JISC Legal is contributing to the pre-conference activity week of this JISC online conference.  The JISC Legal session is entitled - Mobile Learning – Identifying and Reducing the Legal Risks at your College.  The objective is to highlight good legal practice for institutions as they launch and support mobile learning technologies.  Further details on the JISC website at -

The Future of Copyright in the Digital Age and What it Means for You (London, 15/11/2011)
This one-day seminar, featuring Professor Charles Oppenheim and Emily Goodhand, will bring attendees up-to-date on recent developments in UK copyright law. Further details on the JISC Legal website at -


 Our Training

JISC Legal Plus - Expert training in ICT law delivered direct to you

Do remember that we provide in-house training in ICT law. Our JISC Legal Plus trainers deliver staff development packages designed to bring you up-to-speed with the digital age. Visit - - for more information.

Contact Details

JISC Legal
Information Services Directorate

University of Strathclyde
Alexander Turnbull Building
155 George Street

gow G1 1RD

0141 548 4939

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Posted on 01/11/2011

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