Why does the South West need a copyright community?
We originally wrote this article for the CITE Winter Forum magazine held in London last month. With this in mind, it seems strange to mention that one of the main reasons for setting up the South West UK Copyright Community was to avoid having to travel to London all the time for copyright events or workshops. We had several other good reasons to set up a larger local community of copyright practice though; one of them being a need for experience and knowledge from a wider community. Amongst the Avon University Libraries in Cooperation group, or AULIC, which includes University of Bristol, UWE Bristol, University of Bath, and Bath Spa University, we have a CLA Licence group. However, it lacks a focus on more general copyright concerns and expanding the focus of this group would change it too much from its original purpose. We also had a desire to network closer to home and to benefit from development opportunities here in the South West.
The idea was first suggested to us at the CILIP Copyright Conference by Chris Morrison and Jane Secker. They set up the London and South East Copyright community in 2017 and were kind enough to speak to our AULIC CLA Licence group about its benefits earlier this year. Following their example, we set up a community space on Slack; an online collaborative tool that facilitates conversations, file-sharing, and event planning. Our aim is to create a space where knowledge and experience can be shared, to organise one or two meetings a year, and to pool resources to put on training opportunities.
There are a number of benefits to having a local community of copyright practice in the South West:
- As already mentioned, we are planning on covering all copyright issues, not just the CLA Licence, which means that anyone involved in copyright at Higher Education Institutions can get involved - archivists, library assistants, and lecturers, for example.
- Forming a community of people who are at different stages in their careers will allow those with experience to share their knowledge and those at the beginning of their careers to ask questions and learn.
- Meetings would normally be hosted at different institutions therefore there is the opportunity to visit other South West institutions, as well as host a meeting at your institution.
- The aim would be to meet as a group in person several times a year. The meetings will be a chance to discuss, update, share, collaboration and network with colleagues from across the region.
- There would be potential for copyright events and training to be held in the South West, hopefully helping alleviate travel costs and environment concerns.
How to Join
If you are based in the South West and would like to enquire about joining the South West UK Copyright Community, please email:
Also, if you would like to volunteer to host a meeting at your institution in the future, please get in touch.
If you’d like to join our Slack group then you can do so using this link: https://bit.ly/2qOdgPw
This article was originally published in the Winter 2019 CITE Magazine.
About the Authors
Alison Davidson is the Document Delivery Librarian at the University of Bath. She previously worked as Senior Library Assistant for Digital Services at Bath Spa University.
Fayrouz Rogers is the Collections Support Librarian for Digitisation and Document Delivery at The University of the West of England, Bristol. She has worked within Library Services at the university for the past 9 years.