Author Archives: Sarah Fahmy

Guide on Managing Intellectual Property for Museums

The  World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is pleased to announce the release of the update of its Guide on Managing Intellectual Property for Museums first published in 2007 and authored by Mrs. Rina Pantalony, Coordinator, Intellectual Property Projects in the Department of Cinema Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.

Effective use of the intellectual property (IP) system offers museums across the world significant opportunities to better understand the full potential of their collections and to increase the overall quality of preservation for their cultural heritage assets. The main objective of this update is to reflect the significant developments that have taken place in the international debate, in particular regarding Digital Rights Management (DRM), the role of social media, traditional knowledge, and the discussions that have taken place among WIPO Member States in the context of the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) and the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR).

The Guide is comprised of two parts. In its first part, it describes IP issues relevant to museums and cultural heritage institutions, such as rights in scholarly content, technologies developed in-house and branding tools. Most importantly, it provides a roadmap on how museums may survey, catalogue and document their intellectual property.

The second part reviews existing business models that could provide museums with appropriate opportunities to create sustainable funding and deliver on their stated objectives.

Please do take a look


Feasibility study on digital repository infrastructure solutions for ‘unsupported’ digital assets

Jisc, on behalf of The Strategic Content Alliance (SCA), has awarded Curtis+Cartwright Consulting Ltd a contract to carry out a  feasibility study on digital repository infrastructure solutions for ‘unsupported’ digital assets. This has been made possible with the kind contribution of the Heritage Lottery Fund, working with Jisc to co-fund this work.

The UK Higher Education and research sector has access to an extensive repository infrastructure (with some 200 institutional repositories and many subject/discipline repositories). Public funding of projects by community organisations over the last few years is producing many digital assets (such as images, audio, video and other materials), including for example the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Our Heritage programme. However, the SCA has identified that some of these digital assets may not be accessible or usable in the medium-to-long term as they are not supported by any robust curation/repository infrastructure.e.

The overall objective of the study is to investigate the feasibility of the use of digital infrastructure solution(s) to provide long term access and use of these ‘unsupported’ digital assets. The study has a two-phase approach. The scoping phase covers information gathering investigating selected issues using an options approach, developing and assessing overall options, down-selecting two/three options for writing up in the interim report. The second phase will develop the selected options and produce overall recommendations. The study will complete in early 2014.

Please contact Sarah Fahmy ( for further details on this exciting piece of work.

Jisc ITT: Feasibility Study on digital repository infrastructure solutions for ‘unsupported’ digital assets

Jisc, on behalf of The Strategic Content Alliance, invites tenders for a feasibility study on digital repository infrastructure solutions for ‘unsupported’ digital assets.

The feasibility study is required to identify sustainable digital repository infrastructure solutions for digital assets from small-to-medium digital projects. These assets may originate from arts organisations, cultural heritage institutions, community groups and small organisations in the area of the arts, cultural heritage, medicine and science etc that may not have access to a sustainable digital repository infrastructure.  It is important to secure access to these assets for the longer term as many of these assets have value for education and research as well as being of broader public value.

The deadline for tenders is 12 noon UK time on Friday 9th August 2013.  The final work under this contract should be completed by 6th December 2013.

For further details, please visit:

Intellectual Property Office sets out new evidence and research projects

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) today announced its research programme to help maintain the UK’s position at the forefront of research into the economic impact of intellectual property rights.

For the past two years, the IPO has worked with academia and industry to help develop the economic evidence base and forge relationships in the intellectual property (IP) research community, nationally and internationally. The programme proposed for 2013 /14 builds on this work.

New research projects and areas of investigation will include:

  • The role of IP in facilitating business finance and economic growth
  • A long-term series of projects to develop an economic approach to evaluating the impact of IP enforcement measures, including educational campaigns
  • Patent framework and competitiveness and whether this is supporting the competitiveness of UK business sectors
  • The growth and demand of trade mark applications. This will examine the reasons behind the 40% increase in UK trade mark applications since the downturn
  • The impact of potential European Union policy-wide influence on the copyright framework
  • An assessment of the costs and benefits of using mediation rather than the court service for IP disputes

IP Research main page


**New SCA/ Ithaka S+R report and videos: Sustaining Our Digital Future**

Our lives are transformed as a result of technological innovation, with digital content being delivered across continents to millions of users via thousands of devices in hundreds of languages. But how long can we guarantee access to and use of this ‘gold rush’ of content? What lessons could be learnt from comparing and contrasting these distinct endeavours that are united in their desire to serve the public good whilst trying to adopt new strategies to ensure their organisational relevance in the digital age?

Commissioned by the Strategic Content Alliance and undertaken by Ithaka S+R, the Sustaining Our Digital Future: Institutional Strategies for Digital Content’ report, issued today, tells of how three distinct organisations – Imperial War Museums (IWM), the National Library of Wales (NLW) and University College London (UCL) have risen to this challenge. This essential research is accompanied by a suite of tools, advice and videos (see below) that will enable and guide you to take a fresh look at whether a project is delivering the desired impact in the communities you aim to serve and to consider new ways to enhance the value of your content for your users.

As our great universities, libraries and museums receive public and private funding to create digital content, what strategies do they have to ensure its ongoing access and enhancement? Moving beyond the baseline concerns of preservation, how are digital content projects being managed, post-build, to ensure that they continue to be useful to the audiences they are intended to support and, in many cases, who have funded their creation?

Our universities are trying to tackle the impact of globalisation in the provision of higher education in an increasingly competitive market.  This ranges from overseas universities offering cheaper under graduate and post graduate study to the development of “Massive Open Online Courses” (MOOCs). We see steps being taken by universities, like UCL, to develop effective campus-wide iterative solutions rather than project-centric approaches. In the case of UCL, this is underpinned by their imperative to continue to offer the very best in digital content and services to academics, students, and researchers, but also to meet the challenge of addressing a worldwide audience to ensure their enduring relevance.

Our rich and diverse national libraries and museums, represented in this report by IWM and the NLW, continue to strive towards developing excellence in digital content and services, albeit at a time of fiscal constraint. The IWM has completely transformed its organisational set-up in recognition that digital requires different policies, practices and strategies.  This has manifested itself in new staff and skills being employed to ensure enduring relevance to its audiences across the globe.

The NLW continues to act as a critical component of a Digital Wales. Again, we see how a traditional roles, responsibilities and services are evolving to meet the challenges that the library and other agencies face in this brave new digital world that we inhabit. We see a range of tactics and techniques being deployed to foster innovative collaboration within the library and across Wales. The vision of a ‘library without walls’ can be applied in the case of the NLW, and is testimony to the leadership shown by the staff and management to tackle a transformational agenda to help support sustainable digital content.

A notable change in recent times has been the willingness of organisations like our ‘national’ bodies to put more impetus behind new ways of working such as partnership activities and other innovative approaches to developing sustainable digital content with a collective goal in sight. The work of the IWM and NLW to develop their First World War centenary programmes is a great example of the growing recognition that the UK public sector has much to gain from a more co-ordinated approach to developing digital content and services which are destined to have a lasting legacy.

The report’s findings are based on over 80 interviews with faculty, library directors, funders and senior administrators in the UK. It is packed with evidence and practical guidance about how funders, institutional administrators, and project leaders can work to build shared awareness and objectives for digital projects and to plan for their sustainability. The report makes evident the challenges felt by many, and the steps that can be taken to build the kind of vibrant, rich digital fabric needed by scholars and the public.

The significance of digital content in UK higher education will only increase as the Research Excellence Framework recognises the impact of these projects as part of the scholarly output of the academy, and as education itself continues the rapid transition to virtual learning and teaching.

The question now is whether we can all learn from one another and chart the new paths necessary to ensure our nation’s great collections remain at the forefront of inspiring knowledge, education and research.

The report has created a number of tools to support project leaders and library, university and museum administrators to support projects as they mature may be less obvious and are not always discussed once the project has been launched:

Sustainability Health Check Tool for Digital Content Projects

This Health Check Tool provides an opportunity for you to think about the kinds of resources — money, staff and otherwise — that are being dedicated to your institution’s digital content projects on an ongoing basis. This will enable you to take a fresh look at whether a project is delivering the desired impact in the communities you aim to serve and to consider new ways to enhance the value of your content for your users.


Framing the Case for Host Support: Action steps and questions for digital project leaders

This briefing guide offers questions to help project leaders consider future project needs and frame the value of their work when seeking support from their host institution.



Institutional strategies for Universities: Short video

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Institutional strategies for Universities: Full length video

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Institutional strategies for Libraries and Museums video 

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Download Full report

Download Executive Summary


Insights from case study participants:

“We must recognise that the digital realm is one of the most important areas we will ever venture into,” said Diane Lees, Director General of the Imperial War Museums. “This report underpins all the things we thought we might know and now we do know.”

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“It’s a wakeup call for us all,” agreed Andrew Green, Chief Executive and Librarian at the National Library of Wales. “It’s essential reading for anyone in the business of access to digital content.”

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“We’re not just worried about things disappearing but about things never appearing! They are hosted all over the place, and not all the projects have a sustainable plan,” Prof David Price, Vice-Provost (Research) at UCL has commented.

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Views on the report:

Nick Poole, Chief Executive, Collections Trust

“This report is a good positive step forward. It consolidates things we suspected we knew already and it is good to have the evidence and to have it plainly expressed. The sector is in a very reflective place at the moment and so if we can get word about the core ideas in this report it will help move us away from the idea that sustainability is only about funders giving us more money next year.”

Roly Keating, Chief Executive, the British Library

“I thought it revealed valuable home truths for both the cultural sector and the he sector about the different ways in which digital media is – and crucially isn’t yet – fulfilling its potential.”

Ailsa Barry, Natural History Museum

“It’s all about how cultural institutions are beginning to recognise how digitisation and digital outputs need to be embedded across the whole range of outputs to meet audiences needs in the 21st century.”

Sir Deian Hopkins, President of the National Library of Wales

“The face of technological change and the expectation of technological change is so rapid that institutions now have to collaborate in order to ensure that they make the most effective use of the available technology and so that we can maximise the value of digitisation.

What is particularly interesting about this project is that it is UK-wide and has applications for all administrators. It cuts across the boundaries of libraries museums and archives. It also asks us to raise the question of whether there are priorities in future digitisation. I learnt tonight that we can’t do it all and there are serious questions about what do we do that brings the greatest value. That value can only be realised if the access is facilitated and that raises questions about both the tools available and how you cut across the different digital sets. The culture of usage is still one of the biggest issues.  How do we get people to use the material in the most intellectually rigorous and realistic way?

This is a tremendous report which brings us some of the new tools for monitoring these developments and form strategies for sustaining their collections in the future.”

Commission agrees way forward for modernising copyright in the digital economy

As reported on European Commission memo

Reference: MEMO/12/950 Event Date: 05/12/2012

“At the initiative of President Barroso, the European Commission has today held an orientation debate on content in the digital economy.

The digital economy has been a major driver of growth in the past two decades, and is expected to grow seven times faster than overall EU GDP in coming years. Online, there are new ways of providing, creating and distributing content, and new ways to generate value. This represents a challenge and an opportunity for all the creative industries, authors and artists and other actors in the digital economy.

The Commission’s objective is to ensure that copyright stays fit for purpose in this new digital context. Good progress has been made in implementing the May 2011 Intellectual Property Rights Strategy, but there remain a series of issues which need to be addressed to ensure an effective single market in this area.

The Commission will therefore work for a modern copyright framework that guarantees effective recognition and remuneration of rights holders in order to provide sustainable incentives for creativity, cultural diversity and innovation; opens up greater access and a wider choice of legal offers to end users; allows new business models to emerge; and contributes to combating illegal offers and piracy.

Today the Commission has agreed on two parallel tracks of action:

1) Immediate issues for action: launch of stakeholder dialogue

A structured stakeholder dialogue will be launched at the start of 2013 to work to address six issues where rapid progress is needed: cross-border portability of content, user-generated content, data- and text-mining, private copy levies, access to audiovisual works and cultural heritage. The discussions will explore the potential and limits of innovative licensing and technological solutions in making EU copyright law and practice fit for the digital age.

This process will be jointly led by Michel Barnier, Neelie Kroes and Androulla Vassiliou. By December 2013 the College will take stock of the outcome of this dialogue which is intended to deliver effective market-led solutions to the issues identified, but does not prejudge the possible need for public policy action, including legislative reform.

2) Medium term issues for decision-making in 2014

This track will include the completion of the relevant market studies, impact assessment and legal drafting work with a view to a decision in 2014 whether to table legislative reform proposals. The following four issues will be addressed together: mitigating the effects of territoriality in the Internal Market; agreeing appropriate levels of harmonisation, limitations and exceptions to copyright in the digital age; how best to reduce the fragmentation of the EU copyright market; and how to improve the legitimacy of enforcement in the context of wider copyright reform. Based on the outcomes of this process the Commission will decide on the next steps necessary to complete its review of the EU copyright framework.”

Brazil’s Vision for a ‘Digital Public Space’

With the hosting of the 2016 Olympics and being the owner of the world’s 6th largest economy and a thriving technological sector, Brazil has equally ambitious aims when it comes to its digital infrastructure and access to digital culture. JISC was delighted to find out more about what has been accomplished and what can shared in terms vision, knowledge, experience, and advice from the visiting representatives from the Brazilian Ministry of Culture, Jose Murilo and Americo Cordula.

Two things became evident very early on in our discussions. Firstly, Brazilians LOVE social networks! Secondly, that a talented musician, Gilberto Gil,has been pivotal in the way that Brazil has embraced technology. Gil become Minister for Culture from 2003 to 2008 and opened up the way for a quasi-political movement, grounded in the traditions of open access, re-use and CC licensing, to shape the way that technology and innovation evolved.

This led to a number of successful and inclusive initiatives such as the ‘Cultural Hotspots’ programme which provided a broadband connection to a village hall (or similar) and encouraged the public to create their own arts-based or cultural content which was produced and shared openly. It also produced the Cultura Digital project (created and launched by the Ministry of Culture launched in July 2009) aimed at creating a platform for digital content and to act as a social network where the public and politicians alike can debate, inform and potentially construct public policy and regulatory frameworks for digital content and access. Since its launch, the platform has stimulated the participation of more than 7000 members, created almost 2000 blogs, 400 discussion groups and 500 forums.

The plans for the future are no less ambitious. The aim consists of creating a public digital platform that provides open, organised content and data relating to the country’s culture. The philosophy, if not the execution, will be very familiar to those who have worked within the digital content sphere in the past 2/3 years, as this sounds very much like the creation and delivery of the ‘Digital Public Space’ i.e. a source of information open to every citizen, where all are entitled both to access and potentially re-use content and data according to the principles of open innovation.

However, when considering how this will be delivered, the challenges remain the same: How do we ensure that content is easily discoverable and create an effective protocol for metadata? How do we negotiate an intellectual property rights architecture which encourages flexibility, whilst protecting the interests of rights-holders and end-users alike? How do we foster public engagement with digital content and address ways in which they can become ‘creators’ rather than ‘users’? And perhaps, most pertinently, how do we sustain an infrastructure/ platform into the future at a time when public funds become increasingly more fragile?

The Brazilians saw JISC as ‘ahead of the curve’ in addressing these issues, if not being in a position to give perfect solutions. Certainly within the sphere of approaches to metadata, the JISC ’Discovery’ initiative has gone a long way in informing the creation of ‘a metadata ecology’ to support better access to vital collections data in libraries, archives and museums and facilitate new services for UK education and research. Likewise, the JISC-led Strategic Content Alliance, has undertaken ground-breaking research into developing sustainability strategies for digital content when the funding that supports digital projects and core operations is no longer forthcoming. The JISC eContent ‘Community Collections’ programme has also signposted ways in which the public has been mobilised to actively engage with creating digital content by connecting with disparate ‘communities’, through a blended methodology of motivation and gratification for taking part.

Similarities in philosophy and approach are certainly, however, not limited to the UK and Brazil. Comparable international initiatives such as the Digital Public Library of America and Europeana are good examples of where the vision and commitment to public access to cultural content and data have taken on physical form, driven by a need to reduce the ‘silo’ mentality in terms of content creation and enhancement. Likewise, JISC has also been deeply involved in both of these initiatives in terms of sharing and exchanging knowledge and providing the building blocks for strategic alignment across content types, sectors, and borders.

In the future, international collaboration and partnership will be essential to remaining at the forefront of digital content provision and innovation. In the words of Gilberto Gil when speaking of ‘open access’, “This isn’t just my idea, or Brazil’s idea….”

Licensing Data as Open Data

One of the findings that has emerged clearly from the JISC UK OER Programme and from theUK JISC Discovery work is that for a healthy content ecosystem, information about the content needs to be available to many different systems, services and users. Appropriately licensing the metadata and feeds is crucial to downstream discovery and use.

The JISC OER IPR Support Project have developed this fabulous animation to introduce the importance of open data licensing in an engaging way.

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It was developed out of the JISC UK OER Programme but informed by the work of several other areas including UK Discovery, Managing Research Data, the Strategic Content Alliance, and sharing XCRI course feeds. With thanks to the many people who helped in the storyboarding, scripting and feedback: particularly Phil Barker, Tony Hirst and Martin Hawskey.

You may remember the same OER IPR team produced the Turning a Resource into an Open Educational Resource (1,700+ hits and counting). The team is Web2Rights (Naomi Korn, Alex Dawson), JISC Legal (Jason Miles-Campbell) and the animator is Luke McGowan. The whole animation is (c) HEFCE on behalf of JISC, and Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0.

First World War: are we getting the complete picture?

The First World War is one of the most widely covered topics in further and higher education and schools, but according to a new JISC report, little is known about what aspects of the War are being taught, the key research questions or indeed the digital content available to support education and research in this area.

The new survey report by the JISC-led Strategic Content Alliance, Digital Content for the First World War, based on a study by King’s College London, addresses these questions for the benefit of people managing digital resources in universities, libraries and museums.

The report argues that the Centenary of the War in 2014 offers digital content creators the opportunity to reappraise received notions of the experience and legacy of the conflict across disciplines.

For example, they might choose to create digital resources for aspects of the War that have been little explored – such as the global nature of the War, medical and nursing history and the study of wider economic and social issues.

William Philpott, Professor of the History of Warfare at King’s College London, said: “The findings of this report will prove of exceptional interest to scholars of the First World War.  It identifies the diverse range of approaches to teaching about the Great War and demonstrates the enduring interests in the subject as the centenaries approach.”

To draw attention to the breadth of underused content in small and medium sized collections as well as to encourage collaboration between people working on them, JISC have also funded King’s College London to develop a new online resource UK World War One Collections.  The database allows researchers and content managers to search for UK university, archive, library and museum holdings relating to the conflict, saving them time and potentially reducing duplication of effort.

Sarah Fahmy, Strategic Content Alliance Manager at JISC, said: “By understanding the needs of academics and researchers studying the First World War, we are better placed to create and enhance content that will suit their educational requirements.  This report and the database are valuable as they encourage content creators to ask the right questions before starting work on their digital collections.”

JISC is responding to the report recommendations by working strategically with other organisations and academics to create and enhance content – for example creating cross-disciplinary open educational resources that will offer the opportunity to reappraise the War and its social, historical and cultural ramifications through the University of Oxford’s World War One Centenary: Continuations and Beginnings project and the Serving Soldier online collection at King’s.

JISC’s recent work with Wikimedia UK brought together academic experts and editors of Wikipedia (Wikipedians) to create and improve Wikipedia articles on World War One topics. It means that students, researchers and the public can now access accurate, consistent, wide-ranging Wikipedia articles that are as up-to-date as possible and there are now new links between Wikipedian and academic communities.

The report also highlights that to create unique and compelling digital content for the benefit of education and research, funders, content providers and other agencies need to work together.  By building mechanisms for collaboration, any potential investment goes further and delivers better services for less.

Catherine Grout, JISC eContent programme director, said: “The forthcoming centenary of World War One provides us with a remarkable opportunity to utilise information and communications technology to provide researchers and students with unique insights into the ‘war to end all wars’.  JISC shares a unity of purpose with other organisations across the UK to ensure that current and future generations of learners, teachers and researchers have access to the best that digital content and resources can offer, including providing access to many new and important resources.”

Read the new report Digital Content for the First World War here: <> (PDF)

Explore a list of popular resources for teaching and research around World War One here: <>

Making and Using Clinical and Healthcare Recordings for Learning and Teaching Workshop

Date: 20 Sep 2012

Time: 10.00-15.30

Location/venue: University of Bristol

Clinical images, videos and other recordings are vital to good learning and teaching within the healthcare professions. A free one day workshop is being held at the University of Bristol on Thursday 20th September 2012 to focus on the legal, ethical and other related issues of using recordings with learning and teaching.

The workshop will introduce some recently published guidance materials on this subject (available from: but also aims to allow users to share common issues and concerns.

The guidance and workshop is aimed primarily at students, teachers or doctors who wish to use a patient recording for learning and teaching. It will also be of interest and use to other clinical and healthcare workers as well as to university staff where patient recordings are being made available for learning and teaching.

The day is run in partnership with the University of Bristol and MEDEV, School of Medical Sciences Education Development at Newcastle University. There is no charge to attend the symposium, but you must register online. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

For more information about the workshop please see:

or to book a place on the workshop:

Any queries please contact