Module title: Copyright in Photography, Film, and Literature

SCQF level: 09:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: LMD09150
Module leader: C. Paul Sellors
School School of Arts and Creative Industries
Subject area group: Media and Screen


2019/0, Trimester 2, Face-to-Face, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: Face-to-Face
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: C. Paul Sellors
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
This module uses seminar classes, screenings, audio-visual presentations, one-to-one tutorials, structured research projects, an oral presentation, and group discussion to provide a variety of independent and group learning activities. The VLE is used to present the syllabus, offer access to readings and other relevant resources, host students’ annotated bibliographies, and enable further discussion and collaboration outside of class hours. The required readings, students’ class preparations, and class debates draw out key concepts, theories, methodologies, and questions about copyright laws and copyright scholarship (LOs 1, 3, and 4). The structure and delivery of the weekly syllabi demonstrates to students how the lecturer develops and undertakes a research project, develops research questions, and establishes research programmes to answer research questions. This process forms part of the weekly discussions (LOs 1, 2, 3, and 6). The class presentations allow students to initiate a research project and present their provisional research to the class. These presentations are followed by class discussions about the presentation to provide peer review (LOs 2 and 5). By contributing to these discussions on colleagues’ research, students help presenters see their presentations from another’s perspective, and also improve their knowledge of the subject area. This helps both presenters and the other students improve their abilities to define their research questions and methodological approaches (LOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6). Ultimately, this pedagogical approach helps students to recognise that research is not a solipsistic process and to learn how to work collaboratively and effectively on research projects.

Formative Assessment:
This module contains three approaches to formative exercises and feedback. First, you are expected to read required readings before the seminar class, discuss the works read, and ask questions about both these works and more broadly about the subject matter. These discussions are student-led, with the module leader moderating discussion and providing necessary clarification. Lecturing is kept to a minimum. These discussions provide immediate peer and lecturer feedback on your understandings of the subject matter. Second, the presentation, while formally assessed, includes opportunities for peer and lecturer feedback during the class, again providing immediate feedback on both the presenter’s comprehension of the subject matter and her or his approach to the research topic. Further written and verbal feedback is provided by the lecturer in week 12. Third, you will discuss your final essay with the module leader in week 12, while the project is still in development. This provides you with feedback that you can consider for your final submission.

Summative Assessment:
This module has three summative assessments. (1) The oral presentation, scheduled between weeks 5 and 11, requires you to select a topic from the weekly syllabi and begin to develop both a research question and a research project to answer the research question. (2) The essay, due at the end of week 13, provides you with the opportunity to consider peer feedback and class discussions relevant to your project, expand your research, and develop your critical reasoning and writing skills to produce a well-defined, rigorous, and detailed argument. (3) You will be assessed also on your contribution to class discussions. This assessment includes your contributions to discussions of student presentations and to readings from the weekly syllabi. Attendance will therefore be indirectly assessed through your presence in the room to discuss readings and presentations. Your participation mark will be based on not only the amount you participate, but also the quality of your contributions. Class preparation is therefore essential for your participation mark also. The class discussions, presentations, and essays all establish core research skills required to write an honours dissertation. All assessments in this module thus function collectively as formative assessments for BA4 dissertation modules. One-to-one feedback on your presentation is available after the presentations (week 12). Essays will be marked in weeks 14 and 15 and will be returned with extensive comments in both the margins of the essay and on a separate comment sheet.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Tutorial 39
Independent Learning Guided independent study 161
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Oral Presentation 25 1,2,3,5,6 5-11 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 0
Essay 65 1,2,3,5,6 13 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 3000
Discussion/Participation 10 4 14 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 0
Component 1 subtotal: 100
Component 2 subtotal: 0
Module subtotal: 100

Description of module content:

On this module you will examine the theory, history, and philosophy of copyright in photography, film and literature. You will develop an understanding of the core principles of copyright and moral rights, the international agreements on copyright, and the similarities and differences between national copyright laws. In doing so you will learn key principles of British, Commonwealth, European, and American copyright laws. You will also evaluate the historical definitions of authorship on which copyright relies, the foundations of copyright in romantic philosophies of creativity and nationhood, and nation-state assumptions about property and economic growth. This module also prompts you to explore the relationships between creative practice and the legal protections and prohibitions that media producers face. The module further considers fair dealing, the public domain, contracts, and competing philosophies of copyright. In the module you can also propose and explore your own interests in copyright, such as UK copyright reform, copyright and digital technology, media convergence, broadcast, international treaties, copyright harmonisation, copyright jurisdiction, and copyright for works produced in space. Structured as an advanced research seminar, and as preparation for dissertation modules, this module will help you to develop core research skills, including how to identify, analyse, and compare methodologies, identify and critically reflect on relevant research sources, compose research questions, present research in progress orally to colleagues for discussion, contribute to scholarly debate, and produce cogent, detailed arguments that set out and answer research questions which you determine. Additionally, this module provides you with an understanding of copyright that will help you understand how to protect and exploit the products of your own creative practice. The wide range of topics considered in this module, and the opportunity for students to propose their own topics, make the module appropriate for students in most programmes in the School of Arts and Creative Industries.

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to:
LO1: Demonstrate knowledge of and critically reflect on arguments and methodologies utilised to elucidate the history, function, and purpose of copyright law.
LO2: Construct and implement a viable research programme from the critical literature on copyright.
LO3: Critically reflect on the relationship between copyright and culture.
LO4: Contribute effectively to peer discussions and reviews.
LO5: Evaluate and engage with peer review of your research.
LO6: Produce clearly defined, rigorous, and detailed arguments.

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
Copyright in Photography, Film, and Literature