On the 3rd April I had the pleasure of attending the 'International Copyright-Literacy Event with Playful Opportunities for Practitioners and Scholars', or ICEPOPS, at the University of Liverpool. The whole day focused around discussions about copyright education and making copyright literacy fun through games and play. We were welcomed into the building with lollipops, tea, coffee, and some arts and crafts where you had the chance to decorate your name badges with stickers. I chose a, rather fetching, lobster sticker.
The event was kicked off by Jane Secker and Chris Morrison (who we previously interviewed about ICEPOPS) with an enthusiastic bang! It was impressive to hear that the event was being attended by academics and copyright experts from all over the world, including New Zealand, Sweden, America, Australia and the Czech Republic. They then introduced the first game of the day with 'Copyright Exception Twitter-Scramble Bingo!' This involved finding a numbered or named section of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 within your name badge, and trying to match your half with another attendees. It was a great way to break the ice among the delegates. The winners of this game was CLA's own Tess Pilgrim and keynote speaker Professor Ronan Deazley.
After a riveting scramble to find a partner, we all settled down to listen to the newly victorious Professor Ronan Deazley begin his keynote talk entitled 'When the Copyright Fun Stops, Stop!' In this talk Deazley highlighted the grey areas that can encompass discussions in copyright and where exceptions can come into play. He continued by arguing that the best way to learn about copyright is to immerse and surround yourself with images and content that excites you and to educate those around you about copyright through action and actively exploring issues through projects and events. He finished his talk by showing us a trailer of 'The Game is On!' a Sherlock-Holmes inspired video series which has Sherlock Holmes and Watson explore cases riddled with copyright.
This talk was followed up by Jane and Chris returning to the stage to discuss the conception of their board game, 'The Publishing Trap'. The game is about research dissemination and scholarly communication in Higher Education. The game follows four distinct characters who must make decisions about how to disseminate their research at conferences, in academic journals and in monographs or textbooks. At the time of writing, 'The Publishing Trap' has received 2,500 hits on the Copyright Literacy website as well as 175 downloads. Chris and Jane went on to say that they have future plans for the game including a redesign of the board and some new extra characters.
The next event of the day was the World Cafe. The World Cafe was made up of thirteen short presentations or games that the delegates could get involved with. Tess and I presented a short collection of interesting copyright cases and spoke about the various tools CLA use to engage with our customers regarding copyright issues. Other talks included: baking a cake as a metaphor for copyright, the importance of video animation as a learning tool and Copyright Bingo!
Next up were Lightning Talks! This is where nine speakers from all over the world had the opportunity to present their opinions, projects, advice, tips and tricks they had on everything copyright related. One talk that stood out in particular came from Lisa Moore, from the University of the Creative Arts, who told us of her project 'The Copyright and Open Access Nirvana Tour 2017', where she and her colleague embarked on a two tour of various campuses across the UK bringing fortune cookies, colourful displays and selfie boards, as well as spreading a positive message. Just as Professor Ronan Deazley had discussed in his keynote, Lisa and her team were educating through action, and very successfully by the looks of it.
After a great lunch, Dr Hayleigh Bosher talked to the delegates about her experience with Intellectual Property, but also about Mindfulness and how that has helped to inform her work and how to conduct herself in more mindful ways. She proceeded to lead everyone in a Mindfulness exercise of 'Extended Exhalation' that left everyone feeling relaxed and zen.
The next keynote speaker Alex Moseley, then took the stage to talk on 'Looking for play in dark places'. Alex's speech focused on using games and play when exploring learning and design. Part of these discussions were focused around 'Alternate Reality' games, which take place online but can bleed into our reality. Alex went on to say that a lot of people devote a considerable amount of time into these games and we could be looking to them as inspiration for engaging and educating the public.
The final game of the day was a competition, the dramatically named, 'Games Hack-a-thon'. In this competition, the conference was split into several teams and were all given cards at random which gave the various teams different contexts for creating a concept for a copyright game. The game could be a board game, an app, a physical activity, the world was your oyster! However, as the event ran on, 'Constraint' cards were added to the game for example, 'You must be able to finish the game in twenty minutes'. This was to help narrow the focus of the game and help the teams on building a solid foundation and a strong USP. After all the constraints had been added, the teams had a chance to present their game concept in thirty seconds. The winning game was a mobile app, which was an action/adventure visual novel where the player takes on the role of a lawyer who builds relationships to solve cases about copyright.
The day was finished up with a game-show quiz hosted by Kyle K Courtney, who donned some impressively sparkly shoes to finish the day with a bang! Kyle quizzed two of his American compatriots on some famous copyright cases and whether they thought these cases were given the correct sentence. As the game ended, Chris and Jane gave their thanks to everyone at the conference for attending and for their enthusiasm throughout the day and encouraged everyone to get up and grab a few celebratory drinks and a song in the Karaoke Shower, provided by the IPO.
Overall, it would be fair to say that the first ever ICEPOPS was a resounding success! Chris and Jane were extremely enthusiastic throughout the day and should be commended on their ability to keep everyone's energy up throughout the day. The atmosphere was very friendly and everyone was approachable and easy to talk to. I look forward to attending the event next year with more games, more laughs and now familiar friendly faces.