According to Vuopala, practical solutions for the challenges discovered in Cupore’s study have not yet been developed at the Ministry. The recommendations of the report will, however, be processed in a range of projects concerning the assessment of the copyright system overseen by a steering group appointed by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
“Important contributors to the development of the copyright system is received from such parties as the Copyright Information and Anti-Piracy Centre (CIAPC) and Kopiosto, who produce informative and educational material about copyrights. EUIPO also produces useful materials for all educational institutions in the EU,” says Vuopala.
©-info helps to do the right thing
Vuopala praises the ©-info icon developed by Kopiosto, which she says could be involved in offering solutions for raising awareness of copyrights. “Kopiosto’s ©-info is a very useful tool in raising awareness of the complex provisions of the Copyright Act and helps users act accordingly,” says Vuopala.
The ©-info is an icon that can be added to websites for free, and clicking on it displays the author details and usage rights of the content on the website. The icon informs the users of websites of who has produced or created the photos, images, articles, videos and other content of a website and how to use the content in a permissible manner according to the limitations of the Copyright Act, for example, for quotes and private use.
According to Vuopala, the ©-info icon should be used more widely on websites administrated by both the public and private sectors. The usability of the icon in social media should also be studied, says Vuopala.
Cupore’s recommendations indicate that information about in which situations sharing the content is permissible is particularly in demand. “The ©-info icon could also include this information, if sharing the content is permissible and desirable. This could be the case regarding open public sector material licences, which are remarkably different from the material published under commercial terms.”
“It is also possible that the copyright holder explicitly wants to withhold further use of the material for non-commercial or commercial purposes or withhold information about the work and its copyright holders,” Vuopala says. “However, in accordance with the accepted principles of morality, publishers have the obligation to provide the name of the author in order to exercise their moral rights.” ©-info also makes it possible to provide the name of the author.
Finland as a pioneer of improving copyright infrastructure
The Ministry of Education and Culture is currently conducting a project with an aim to support the development work concerning the practices related to works and author information, metadata, technology and infrastructures of creative industries as well as questions related to intellectual property rights and legal aspects of data. The goal is to bring different parties together in a dialogue.
During the autumn of 2020, the Ministry has facilitated discussion in small groups and two workshops. “The discussions and workshops have helped define the situation in each industry. The goal is to continue these workshops and study how the General Data Protection Regulation affects opening the copyright information in databases and the contractual practices related to work and author information and data. The rapid development of the industries is taken into account.”
The development of the copyright infrastructure requires funding, which is currently applied for from the EU, Vuopala says. Arranging a larger event about the theme is also a part of the development of the copyright infrastructure. It could be arranged, for example, in connection with a workshop concerning the EU Commission’s report on copyright data and artificial intelligence or as part of the metadata conference arranged by WIPO in the spring of 2021.
“Finland is one of the first countries to develop copyright infrastructure in a coordinated manner that benefits all creative industries and the entire society. The development of the infrastructure of creative industries and the copyright infrastructure is mentioned in the report on Finland’s sustainable economy.”
Vuopala says that ©-info also supports the copyright infrastructure development project very well. From the users’ perspective, it is important that the ©-info icon would be used as extensively as possible on websites.
Vuopala promises to find out how the ©-info icon could be added to the Ministry of Education and Culture’s website and used more extensively in state administration.
“First and foremost, ©-info serves the need for visual information about works and their authors and the terms of using the copyrighted works.”
Text: Maria Bregenhöj and Kirsi Salmela
Photo: Ministry of Education and Culture