This course will deal with the inherent tensions between copyright protection and access, especially in the digital environment.
Copyright law confers exclusive but limited monopoly right on authors or proprietors of creative works that range from literary, artistic, musical, to sound recordings. ‘The information society’ refers to the body of valuable informational contents and their creative processes that are digitally held on computing devices or on the World Wide Web, and transmissible via the Internet. The course will deal with emerging legal issues on copyright, in the context of the information society, and the fundamental impacts of the Internet on copyright, which range from the relative ease with which copying of protected works is accomplished in the digital environment, the inherent difficulty of protecting copyright in the digital environment, to the legislative responses in the EU and the UK. The course aims to teach participants the core principles and concepts of copyright and its practical applications in the contexts of the information society and the knowledge economy. The practical effects and implications of these rights, ranging from digital copyright management, digital file-sharing, and the wider issues of technological barriers to digital copyright access, to creative commons licence, will form part of the discourse at lectures and seminars.
This course can be taken individually or combined over a period of time towards a Postgraduate Certificate of Professional Development https://www.ulster.ac.uk/courses/course-finder/201718/postgraduate-certificate-of-professional-development-13809
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About this course
In this section
Copyright has real-life impacts on society. This is especially so with regards to copyright protection of rights to material usually disseminated digitally, such as music, videos, video-games, animation and digital film. The issue of illegal downloads of digital works is extremely topical, with controversial anti-piracy measures the topic of much debate and discussion. The economic implications are not just for individual copyright owners, but also for national economies in the potential loss of tax revenues for governments due to copyright infringing activities.
'The information society' refers to the advent of digital copyright and the Internet, and the fundamental ways in which they have radically affected the traditional notion of copyright. These include the ease and speed with which copying of protected works is accomplished in the digital environment, and the inherent difficulty of enforcing copyright laws and protect the creative industry.
This course will deal with the inherent tensions between copyright protection and access, especially in the digital environment, and the constant balancing act that copyright law is confronted with.
The course will cover:
- Conceptual and historical analyses of copyright.
- Copyright as a primer for innovation and creativity.
- Categories of copyright works: literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, sound recordings, broadcast, film, etc.
- Originality and copyright.
- Database protection.
- Copyright protection for computer programs.
- Copyright monopoly and limitations.
- Digital copyright and technological protection measures.
- Collecting society and copyright licensing.
- Copyright infringement and remedies.
- Defenses to copyright infringement.
- Copyright law and policy on the challenges of balancing ownership and access rights in the digital environment.
- Copyright and human rights.
- Creative Commons licence and alternatives to copyright.
This course should be of interest to legal practitioners, and people working in the creative and communication industry such as television, radio, social media, art, designs, fashion, etc.
Linked programmesLLM Commercial Law, PgCertPD Postgraduate Certificate of Professional Development
100% Exam – written examination in early January 2018. Weekly seminar questions prepare participants for the written examination.
This course requires weekly attendance on Saturdays from 10.15am – 1pm for twelve weeks starting Saturday 30 September 2017.
Any undergraduate degree.
English Language Requirements
International applicants whose first language is not English must meet the minimum English entrance requirements of the University, which is a minimum acceptable score for the British Council IELTS of 6.0 (with no contributing band of less than 5.5) or equivalent.
- 30 September 2017
Fees and funding
In this section
- Northern Ireland & EU:
- England, Scotland & Wales:
Information about how to pay for a course including different payment options is available at
Scholarships, awards and prizes
Fee waivers may be available to those who meet the eligibility criteria. More information is available from FlexEd@ulster.ac.uk
Telephone: (+44) 028 9036 6680