Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Written Evidence

Memorandum submitted by NAACE


  Naace is the professional association for those who are concerned with advancing education through the appropriate use of information and communications technology. The association was established in 1984 and has become the key influential professional association for those working in ICT in Education.


    —  provides information, support, professional development and networking opportunities to those involved in any way in the use of information and communications technology in education;

    —  advises national and local bodies on matters relating to information and communications technology in education;

    —  is involved in the development and evolution of national strategies for information and communications technology in schools and colleges and provides a forum for consultation on all matters relating to information and communications technology in education; and

    —  advises organisations concerned with the production of computer hardware, software and learning resources in support of information and communications technology in education.


  With specific reference to schools:

  (i)  The advent of new technologies for file sharing over the internet is revolutionising personal learning and although licensing schemes for Local Authorities are already in place such as the ERA EDUCATIONAL RECORDING AGENCY licence ( which covers:

    —  use recordings with interactive whiteboards;

    —  transfer recordings onto a server for easier access via classroom computers;

    —  stream recordings to on-site computers for open-access learning; and

    —  include recordings on virtual learning environments for use on site;

  these conditions do not accommodate the new media and the ease with which they can be copied, changed and shared.

  (ii)  However as virtual learning networks grow beyond the school there is going to be an increasing licencing issue with transparency of sharing multimedia learning materials. Also in the last two years with the increasing use of file sharing and roll out of broadband there has been an increase in the use of Mashups—where teenagers disassemble and reassemble existing media to create new video forms—VJ (video jockeys disaggregate and reassemble video often to music tracks) to make new art forms.

  (iii)  This is a new art form where samples of video and music tracks are ripped and recombined to make new artifacts. This is common practice amongst teenagers all over the world at present—a lot of the activity is illegal.

  The problem with the ERA recording licence is that it is just that—it is a recording licence.


  (i)  Although ERA allows the ripping and tagging of clips and their inclusion in Powerpoints within educational institutions by teachers, it does not cover students copying, amending and distributing media based on source video that is copyright.

  (ii)  The ERA recording licence does not take into consideration the fact that VLE (Virtual Learning Platforms) are increasingly being accessed from outside the home and that learning is going on in an anywhere, anytime basis. In fact an analogy between plagiarism and academic referencing can be made here. Plagiarism is straightforward copying without attribution and passing off a work as your own—referencing is inclusion of extracts from other authors as a basis of an argument and they are cited and attributed. T S Eliot's The Waste land is littered with a hotpotch of different references and quotes combined with his original writing to make one of the most innovative and influential poems of the 20th Century for example.


  (i)  In the definitive BECTA report (Evaluation report of the teaching and learning with digital video assets pilot 2003-04) on the use of digital video assets used in schools—the authors Kevin Burden (Director Cascade, University of Hull) and Theo Kuechel (Research Consultant) outlined an increasingly realistic scenario:

    "It is important that education and schools become aware of the emergence of digital working processes and make full use of the opportunities offered by digital media. This is important from both a pedagogical and a technical perspective. In A Digitally Driven Curriculum Professor Buckingham argues that there is now a need for a digitally driven curriculum wherein children have to develop critical and analytical skills in order to interpret digital media (Buckingham (ed.), 2001, p 13). In order to enable them to achieve this, he feels that they should be actively involved in producing media. The teachers involved in the project shared this view, pointing out that when repurposing digital video assets and undertaking digital video editing, the deconstructing and re-assembling of the component parts of digital media led to greater understanding on the children's part."

  (ii)  Paul Gerhardt ( ) Director Creative Archive BBC said recently in the July online JISC journal—Ariadne :

    "There is also growing evidence that media files are the new currency of the Web. The downloading and sharing of moving image files is driving the latest phase in the growth of the Internet, following the previous waves of text, pictures and music. In 2003, the downloading of video and other files grew to make up slightly more than half (51.3%) of all file sharing in OECD countries, while music downloading fell to 48.6% [1]. The technology now exists for moving images to acquire the same intrinsic characteristics as text: for people to carry with them, to quote from, to manipulate, and to share with others. Almost all of this activity contravenes existing copyright arrangements—particularly broadcasting, which remains geared to providing one or two `opportunities to view'."

  (iii)  Tessa Jowell said at the Oxford internet institute's webcast (approx 34 mins in) on 19 January 2006

    "As with all knowledge, passing it on is an active not a passive verb. And I don't exaggerate when I say that media literacy in its wider sense, is as important to our development as was universal literacy in the 19th century. Then the written word was the only passport to knowledge, now there are very many more and the most insidious digital divide is between those equipped to understand that and those who aren't ... So media literacy is an essential tool of modern citizenship—the more confidence people have in the use of their media, the more effectively and creatively they will engage with it and this creativity benefits broadcasters and other content creators by feeding back into new creators and new content. So media literacy is crucial to widening access to skills and deriving a dynamic, successful, creative economy ... The pace of change won't slow, it will intensify and we need to harness it for our, our society's and the economy's benefit ... So Britain is in pole position to benefit from this change like almost nowhere else we could have the most innovative industry on earth working in converged media that delivers the highest standards on earth. But only if we plan it that way and only if all of us including regulators and government walk into theatuture with our eyes open."

  (iv)  RSA aspirational Manifesto

    "Creativity and investment should be recognised and rewarded. The purpose of intellectual property law (such as copyright and patents) should be, now as it was in the past, to ensure both the sharing of knowledge and the rewarding of innovation. The expansion in the law's breadth, scope and term over the last 30 years has resulted in an intellectual property regime which is radically out of line with modern technological, economic and social trends. This threatens the chain of creativity and innovation on which we and future generations depend."


  (i)  However the problem with disaggregation of media, and video in particular, is that there are frequent "underlying rights" issues with producers. Even though, with the BBC CREATIVE ARCHIVE, schools can generally:

    —  search for legally cleared content—from extracts to whole programmes;

    —  preview and download non-broadcast quality versions;

    —  modify and create their own versions; and

    —  share with others and the BBC—on a non-commercial basis;

  but underlying rights concerns by producers can still bar certain parts of programmes (extracts of music, voiceovers, fill in video, soundtrack, background images, performers/ presenters contributions—the list goes on) that do not have copyright clearance. A mechanism for releasing the clearance on these underlying rights generally within the UK domain within the educational system would be first thing to tackle otherwise it will become a barrier to innovation.


  (i)  Therefore a licencing system that accommodates and does not stifle creativity is essential as media becomes freely available to copy, disassemble, reassemble and distribute around these networks and on converged systems such as mobile networks—especially in education. The difference between copying and mass distribution on the one hand and reworking media on the other must be stated and allowed for.

  (ii)  It is one thing for a student to rip an entire DVD and distribute it over a network to fellow students but it is entirely another matter if a student on a visual arts and media course were to rip the same DVD, sample short clips and recontextualise them within the confines of a creative project—making an entirely different artwork. In the latter case it would be stifling creativity and the developing of expertise of those skills to produce new and exciting media if underlying rights issues were to become a bar to constructing good models of media literacy. The basis for these skills that will move the UK economy on through innovation and the knowledge capital generated will hit an intellectual and legal cul de sac and this must be addressed. On the one hand producers need to be reassured that their underlying rights will not be undermined and revenues lost and on the other a licence should allow for free use within the educational system providing a blanket licencing fee is paid by all institutions. In that way producers and performers are paid for content and schools and educational systems are free to reconfigure media to model and produce new artforms and media providing they do not sell or perform for revenues and that they gain corresponding non-theatric licences if supplying content in a wider arena; and if what they produce is of value then a mechanism should be found to negotiate a contract to sell on.

  (iii)  With Open Source software and emerging technologies the ease and ubiquity of file sharing over networks is becoming ubiquitous. In the Web 2.0 roll out the old models of attaching spend to products is becoming more inappropriate and existing copyright laws just cannot cope. As has already been quoted—a fair amount of traffic over the internet is of illegal file sharing of multimedia objects. There are just not enough copyright lawyers to police or take litigation against such a flood. Surely a licencing system for a service as opposed to a product would be far more logical. And licences for specific educational communities a precursor to allowing fair use and intellectual freedom to disaggregate and reassemble media for education and training purposes? A tagging system for online content within educational systems might be a logical way forward to audit use ...


  (i)  In recent months the use of metadata systems to tag information attached to multimedia objects has become extremely popular and efficient. The use of Creative Commons licences on the Flickr ( ) photo sharing site, for example, allows authors of content to tag their pictures (and by extension media) with licenses stating what form of copyright they would allow to be attached to their images. Community video sites such as (part of the Prelinger Archive) in the United States allows community and non-commercial organisations to upload video and film media in particular on the proviso that it is freely shareable and available for download. Certain restrictions (such as not disassembling, disaggregating media etc) can be attached by means of a searchable tag. Metadata tagging systems and URL bookmarking sites such as have led to like minded user groups coalescing around shared interests. A system in education whereby users could tag content with reference to existing and future UK territorial licencing provision not unlike that of the Creative Commons model—would be of use with extensions to allow for underlying licencing issues legislated for and agreed with the broadcasting industry, producers and underlying rights.

  (ii) The pure volume of media generated already by early adopters and tagged for use over the internet is beginning to grow exponentially. which has a host of Terms, Conditions and exclusion clauses at:—is now a major provider of a massive repository of Digital Video content available for download through paying and non-paying methods. Their model is to get providers to put up guarantees they are not infringing copyright and then give Terms and Conditions for contacting them if copyright is infringed:

  (iii)  However—in the broadcasting world, especially the commercial media broadcasting world, the use of non-theatrical licences over specific geographical territories is quite specific when attached to public paid non-paid performances even within educational institutions—in the "virtual" realm it is quite possible to stream, in real time, a film over networks and this too needs to be considered when licencing.

  (iv)  In the UK the BBC has adopted a Creative Archive licences for use with schools and this is very territory specific in that the site where multimedia artifacts reside is locked to a UK IP (internet Protocol domain specifically) under terms of its UK licence. This is unfortunate in that it excludes British schools overseas and the educational institutions in the Armed Forces which fall foul of such a clause. It also does not address, in some cases, the problem of "underlying licence issues" already outlined above.

  (v)  The final report from the CIA has begun to address these concerns with an examination of common use and click use licences.

  1.  Resources should be made available for reuse unless there is a justifiable reason why they should not.

  2.  The reuse of resources should be as unconstrained as possible. For example, resources should be made available for commercial reuse as well as non-commercial reuse wherever possible.

  3.  The range of permitted uses of resources should be as wide as possible, for example, including the right to modify the resource and produce derivative works from it.

  4.  Reuse should be encouraged by permitting others to redistribute resources on a world-wide basis.

  5.  Resources should be made directly available and discoverable electronically whenever possible.

  6.  The conditions of use for each resource should be linked directly to the resource so that they are reusable at the point of discovery.

  This study was commissioned by Becta, the British Library, DfES, JISC and the MLA on behalf of the CIE group.


  (i)  Digital repository issues arise from the holding of content on servers and distributed by VLEs and these are issues that also need to be addressed. Issues of caches and archives linked to electronic portfolios, issues of duplication and, again, tagging will emerge as has been made evident by the JISC Digitised Content in the UKResearch Library and Archives Sector A report to the Consortium of Research Libraries and the Joint Information Systems Committee in April 2005. It was interesting to note that in that report, although metadata systems such as Dublin Core et al were mentioned folksonomies or tagsonomies were not, in this context—as these are proving to be very effective in finding, searching, retrieving and sharing content on the wider internet on sites such as and other emerging technology enterprises.


  (i)  The current licencing provision, especially for the schools sector, with regard to digital and converging media and their usage across educational networks and beyond is fairly inadequate at the present time.

  (ii)  The present licencing models do not allow for students copying, disaggregating, amending and distributing media based on source digital assets that is copyright across networks.

  (iii)  With specific reference to where the balance should lie between the rights of creators and the expectations of consumers then a review and implementation of a licencing system more in tune with actual usage would be appropriate; one that takes into account the underlying rights problem for dis and reaggregation of digital resources under educational licences possibly within common use and creative archive type model but with the appropriate revenues due to address "underlying rights" and in rare cases the localised broadcast of non-theatric performance.

28 February 2006

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