In Brief.

Operight – Teachers as Students

Operight is a project set up in order to educate teachers about copyright issues. It is financed by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. The object of copyright policy is to enhance the knowledge and information regarding copyright. Operight is carried out by IPR University Centre. The education is mainly intended for the teachers of upper secondary and vocational schools.

New phenomena such as digitalization, on-line teaching and open source licensing create confusion among teachers. Understanding how different materials of others, for example other teachers or students, can be used without infringing any rights is crucial. On the other hand more awareness about what rights a teacher has regarding their own work is required, as is also how to make students respect copyrights.

The object of the Operight project is to make sure teachers have the basic knowledge about copyright and why it is so relevant in their work and also to inform them about where further information about copyright is available. A part of this project is to create a website of copyright information for teachers especially from their point of view. The Operight website will be ready for use later this spring.

The other part of Operight is the actual copyright training. There are two courses that take place in Jyväskylä and in Oulu. The courses are free of charge for the teachers and consist of three afternoons of lectures and an on-line course.

The lectures deal with basic copyright issues as well as how to use copyrighted material found in the internet. The on-line course gives a more practical view on the subject and the learning happens by answering questions that are drafted for the purpose to create a connection between the day to day situations in teachers work and the copyright legislation. (KK)

IPR Day Gathered Lawyers

Every year in February, Finnish IPR lawyers get together to attend the afternoon seminar ”IPR Day” in Helsinki. For them this is the traditional occasion to catch up with the recent developments and meet colleagues around coffee or a glass of wine.

Nearly 150 lawyers, not only from law firms but also from universities, companies and courts, participated in IPR Day Seminar in February 2011. The programme started, as usual, with overviews of the latest developments in legislation and case law. Other topics included a recent study on the required revision of trade mark law, applying copyright to furniture and Google-AdWords issues from the viewpoint of the Finnish law on unfair competition. The guest speaker John D. Haynes (Partner, Alston & Bird LLP) told about the latest trends in patent litigation in the USA.

The Finnish national IPR Strategy, published in March 2009, had set objectives for the optimal intellectual property environment in 2015, particularly from the viewpoint of SMEs. Altogether 60 measures were suggested as for how to achieve the desired situation in five years. In her presentation Riikka Tähtivuori (Confederation of Finnish Industries EK) stated that 40 of those initiatives have been launched and developed further to some extent, 10 have been accomplished, but another ten have not yet led to any measures.
Most of the suggested measures in the area of copyright are yet far from completion. No solutions have been found for example in issues like multichannel distribution and piracy in Internet. In contrast, a background study for a total revision of the Finnish trade mark law has been published. Its author, Katja Weckström (University of Turku) presented her reasoning; the present law is obsolete in many ways.

IPR Day was organised by the Finnish society for industrial property rights STY and the Finnish AIPPI Group. The arrangements were taken care of by IPR University Center.