City Research Online

Copyright Education and Information Literacy

Secker, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-3047-1212 & Morrison, C. (2022). Copyright Education and Information Literacy. In: Navigating Copyright for Libraries: Purpose and Scope. (pp. 285-318). Walter de Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110732009


This chapter explores the relationship between copyright education and broader digital and information literacy initiatives. It traces the development of the term copyright literacy and explores the extent to which it has become recognised within the library and information profession and elsewhere. The authors run the website and share their insights into why copyright literacy matters and how it relates to other aspects of information and digital literacy. They highlight the relevance of copyright as part of digital education initiatives, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic and rapid shift to online learning, and provide two case studies from their institutions which demonstrate how to approach copyright literacy from both practical and strategic perspectives.
Copyright laws were developed to encourage creation of cultural expressions and socially beneficial information such as scholarly communication. Copyright law attempts to do this by providing authors, artists and creators with exclusive rights that allow them or their representatives to decide how their work is copied and disseminated. However, the copyright space is highly contested with opposing voices from the creative and media industries, author/artist representative bodies, the technology sector and civil society groups taking quite different positions. At times it seems the stakeholder groups are locked in a perpetual battle. The greatest concern about copyright within the library, education and cultural heritage sectors is that it presents a barrier. This chapter therefore explores the value of critical copyright literacy as a way of addressing copyright in contested space and involves an analysis of the cultural, social and economic implications of the copyright system. Library users are likely to be both consumers and creators of copyright works and often draw on the experience of librarians to guide them. The chapter explores the role played by librarians in developing critical approaches, and the tensions encountered where colleagues and library users expect them to provide clear direction on how to access and use information. The final section reviews the practical application of the principles discussed through two case studies: the University of Kent Copyright Literacy Strategy and the City, University of London module in Digital Literacies and Open Practice.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Open Access. ©2022 the author(s), published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Publisher Keywords: Copyright – Study and teaching; Information literacy; Digital literacy
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Departments: Professional Services > Learning, Enhancement and Development
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