JISC Legal's Guidance Gets Shorter!
For your convenience, JISC Legal are introducing http://jiscleg.al/
... style shortened URLs in our guidance, tweets and newsletters. Whilst our website’s content management system has some very nice features, it can occasionally throw up some two-line URLs – not best for retyping or tweeting! So, where appropriate, we’ll now include shortened jiscleg.al URLs to make life easier. Don’t worry – your computer won’t be taken over by Albanian hackers. We’re pleased to be in the vanguard of organisations having their own shortened domain name, including Google, YouTube, and the BBC. As always, let us know any suggestions you have for us improving our service to you – we’re always listening at jiscleg.al/feedback
Deleted Emails May Still be 'Held' Under FOI
In the recent decision Keiller v IC and University of East Anglia,
the Tribunal allowed an appeal to go ahead against the ICO. In rejecting the argument that once deleted, an email was not ‘held’, it stated that ‘it was a matter of common-sense’ that information on a backup server was still recoverable after deletion. As well as consequences in terms of potential disclosure under FOI, this case also reminds institutions to have coherent data retention and deletion policies up to date for all communications.
ICO Fines First Scottish Organisation £140,000
The Information Commissioner’s Office has issued Midlothian Council a fine of £140,000 for sending sensitive information about children to the wrong recipients. The ICO found that the five data protection breaches, causing ‘serious upset’ to the children’s families, could have been avoided where adequate data protection policies, training and appropriate checks had been put in place. This story is a reminder to all institutions to ensure that robust procedures and checks are followed prior to any disclosure of sensitive personal information.
ICO Launches Access Aware Campaign
The ICO has launched a campaign called Access Aware aimed at increasing awareness within organisations of their data protection obligations in particular what a subject access request looks like and what to do if one is received. The campaign is targeted at reducing the number of mishandled subject access requests, complaints about which have accounted for 38% of the ICO’s total data protection specific casework in the last financial year.
An Access Aware toolkit has been developed which is available from the ICO website for download and use within organisations. The toolkit will be a useful resource for staff in FE and HE institutions who are involved in dealing with data protection issues or training staff in this area.
For further information on this story and to download the toolkit visit: http://www.ico.gov.uk/news/latest_news/2012/consumers-being-denied-access-to-their-information-says-ico-27012012.aspx
Ignorance No defence to Copyright Infringement
Belief that copyright permission has been granted is no defence to infringement of copyright if no valid permission was, in fact, given. This was the finding in the Patents County Court case Hoffman v Drug Abuse Resistance Education (UK) Ltd
(DARE) (Neutral Citation Number:  EWPCC 2). The case concerned photographs copied from a Government sponsored website and used without permission. This means that colleges and universities which employ web designers must ensure permission has been granted for use of images on their websites. It is also provides insight as to how damages are likely to be calculated in such cases (£10,000 in this case).
Further details of this story are featured in our Law Watch item.
School Grossly Negligent in Safeguarding Learners
A serious case review found that a school had failed ‘on every level’ to prevent sexual abuse of pupils by a teacher. Despite concerns being raised about Nigel Leat over the past 14 years, these were not passed on to school governors or education authorities. Staff reported him 30 times but every incident was dealt with individually. The school was awarded an outstanding level of care to children by Ofsted over the period. The chair of the relevant Safeguarding Children Board concluded ‘procedures were not followed and this prevented the correct action from being taken’ and it was ‘a gross failure of responsibility’. This article highlights the need for institutions to have robust, well established reporting procedures and safeguarding policies in place.
Proposed New Rules on Data Protection Unveiled
The new proposals aim to update and harmonise the current EU data protection regime including strengthening individuals’ rights. The proposed legislation is in two parts comprising a Regulation and a Directive which will replace the current Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC).
The most directly relevant part for colleges and universities will be the Regulation where the main law is to be found and which when it becomes law will directly apply to the UK and other EU member states. The drafts have still to go through a discussion, lobbying and amendment phase and are unlikely to become law before 2014.
JISC Legal has a new law watch item which provides more detail on the proposals at jiscleg.al/DPProposedNewRules
The draft proposals are available on the Europa website at http://ec.europa.eu/justice/newsroom/data-protection/news/120125_en.htm
Internet Search Juror Jailed
A juror who researched a defendant's history on the internet and forwarded details of what she found to fellow members of the jury was recently sentenced to a six month prison term. Dr. Dallas, a university lecturer, was told that she 'deliberately ignored instructions' not to research the case on-line and that such contempt of the jury and jury system left judges no choice other than to impose a custodial prison sentence. This story reminds colleges and universities of the importance of having in place adequate safeguarding measures to encourage appropriate use of their computing systems, whilst educating staff and students of the risks associated with inappropriate use of the internet. Such policies may well be relied upon in a disciplinary situation. Finally, this particular case emphasises the significant consequences internet users face should they criminally abuse the system.
More details on this story are available from the BBC website
. Details on e-Safety and Computer Misuse are available from our own website - http://www.jisclegal.ac.uk/
Digitally Manipulated Photograph is Copyright Protected
The Patents County Court has ruled that the composition of a photograph is ‘capable of being a source of originality’. Manipulations affecting colour, contrast and composition were deemed copyright protected. The particular placement of features and colour contrasts had an aesthetic quality and made the image ‘visually interesting’, according to Mr Justice Birss QC. Even where iconic symbols were included in the image, this did not detract from the photographic work’s originality. This finding may be of interest to FE and HE staff considering the use of imaging software or digitally manipulated images. Further information and a detailed ruling can be accessed in the full article
Staff Beware Befriending Students on Facebook
The General Teaching Council heard 336 cases of ‘unacceptable professional conduct’ last year and 43 of these involved the use of online chatrooms and email. Consequences may vary from internal disciplinary action, to the involvement of outside agencies such as the police. Examples of communications ‘outside the boundaries of the professional teacher/student relationship’ or ‘a breach of the standards expected’ are included in the article.
Staff in FE and HE should be very wary of potential risks when considering befriending students and consult any institutional policy on the matter. Having a separate professional account may prevent confusion. Institutions are reminded to update acceptable use policies to include the use of social media. More information on this issue can be accessed on the JISC Legal website. jiscleg.al/FacinguptoFacebook
Call for Evidence on New Small Patent Claims Procedures
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is looking for input on its proposals to improve the existing small claims track procedures in the Patents County Court (PCC). The proposals include changes to procedures, a new costs regime and a limit on the value of claims heard in the court as well as changing the name of the Patents County Court. This call for evidence is taking place over a 4 week period and closes on 16 February 2012.
The changes are designed to reduce the cost of lower value IP litigation and will help to ensure that such litigation falls within the jurisdiction of the PCC from the outset.
Further details of the proposals are available on the IPO website at - http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/hargreaves.htm
and will be of interest to those in FE and HE institutions working in the areas of knowledge exchange and innovation.
JISC infoNet Launch Knowledge Transfer infoKit
JISC infoNet has launched a new infoKit – ‘Knowledge Transfer 2.0’ or ‘KT2.0.’ The infoKit which is designed to be a practical ‘how-to’ resource provides strategic guidance, practical tools and tactical tips and is intended to enable colleges and universities to increase the return on investment from knowledge transfer activities.
Recognising changes in Knowledge Transfer, and specifically the transfer of innovation and intellectual property from colleges and universities to businesses and other communities, the resource integrates current innovation theory, modern social media tools and current thinking on market behaviour or motivation, to provide a more effective model of Knowledge Transfer; which is capable of delivering more with less.
Although primarily aimed at staff with responsibility for knowledge transfer the infoKit will also be of interest to other staff such as IT services staff involved in implementation of the relevant technology.
Further information on the background and context of the resource is available at http://www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/infokits/kt/about
View the new infoKit at http://www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/infokits/kt
For information regarding the legal aspects of Knowledge Transfer visit the External Engagement
area of the JISC Legal website.