Oct 26th 2015

Copyright - DIY (EMMA)

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This MOOC aims at introducing the phenomenon of copyright to the layman. It focuses primarily on professionals or non-professionals who are creating their own works, regardless of the form or genre. This MOOC focuses on practical tips and knowledge, and is most suitable for authors and creators of (digital) learning materials. It will try to answer questions such as: What is acceptable use? Where does plagiarism begin? What could be the consequences of (consciously or unconsciously) copying? This MOOC discusses several concrete cases that are relevant to this target group.

This is an introduction to Intellectual Property Rights and more specifically to Copyrights. This course is not intended to be an academic course but rather a practical introduction for anyone who creates original materials or who uses, reuses, mixes, adapts and mashes original materials that were created by others. This course is therefore useful for teachers and course creators, students, professionals who are working in creative jobs, artists, directors, web designers and writers, musicians, composers and video makers. In brief, everyone who creates and consumes original digital and analogue materials and who wants to know more about their rights and duties as a creator or user of original content materials. This is not intended to be a comprehensive academic course but rather a short practice driven learning experience. It is also not a course for legal professionals, but the course cannot avoid discussing legal aspects.

This MOOC consists of a number of video and audio interviews that introduce different perspectives on IPR and copyrights: the perspective of the law, of the artist-creator, of the researcher, of the end user and of the challengers. Each course chapter will start with such an interview, students will be given a weekly task of a (research) assignment related to the specific topic of each chapter, a discussion forum will run through all chapters: each week focusing on specific issues related to the week’s topic. As a fil rouge, a quiz will run throughout the whole module, this quiz is based on real life cases of copyright use and abuse, it will illustrate the theoretical background of each chapter with concrete examples. At least one webinar will be organised in order to facilitate group discussion and interaction. Provided learning materials contain recommended readings, presentations, recordings.

The course programme consist of the following chapters:

Chapter 1: From the Statute of Anne to Mickey Mouse: Background and a brief history of IPR and Copyrights, types of rights.

Chapter 2: IPR and Copyright in a research and education perspective, academic views.

Chapter 3: I fought the law and the law won. A legal perspective.

Chapter 4: Rendezvous with the creator.

Chapter 5: Pirate Bay, Plagiarism, Creative Commons and how users and activists deal with copy- and other rights.

Chapter 6: Future visions, possibilities and developments in the digital era.

Learning Objectives:

Participants will :

get acquainted with the origin and the evolution of the rights of authors and creators as well as the rights and duties of users

be able to distinguish between the different types of rights connected to original works and their use

understand the reasons why copyrights have become what they are today and what their advantages and disadvantages are, and what opportunities and limitations they offer to the users and creators of original works

be able to choose an appropriate IPR scheme for their own works and interpret the IPR that others have applied to their works in a better way, so that use and reuse of original works is regulated appropriately

get acquainted with some basic tools and methods that can be used when dealing with IPR and copyrights in the digital era


At the end of the course learners will have a better understanding of the nature and use of Intellectual Property Rights in general and Copyrights in particular. They will understand why they evolved to become what they are today, what their potential advantages and disadvantages are nowadays, and most importantly how they can be used to advance creativity of the producer of original content as well as of the user of such content, especially in the digital era. They will provide users and creators with an insight in their rights and duties with regard to original materials and content in their daily practise.