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Hints & Tips on Copyright Law
October 21, 2019
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Why do I need to know about it?

In a 24/7, interconnected online world, where we have the ability to share almost anything at a click or swipe, it can be hard to discern the original creator of something. 

This has actually been a problem since 1710, when the first copyright legislation was created. But as the way we create and consume content changes, new challenges are cropping up and the area is arguably more important than ever. 

“Copyright law is important for businesses and individuals because it is a mechanism to help protect individuals’ and businesses’ creative output. If you invest time and effort in creating intellectual property [IP] it is right that you should be able to benefit financially,” states Martyn Freeman, general counsel, BBC Studios. 

“Copyright law, along with trademark law, design law and patent law, protects people and entities who create something,” says Kieron Sharp, CEO of the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT). “The purpose of the law is to enable a person to make a profit from a creation – although the creator is entitled to give it away. It is also there to protect the product of a company where its profitability and the livelihoods of the workers depend on selling a unique product.” 

What do I need to know?

Copyright law in the UK is governed by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. The act has eight fixed categories of ‘works’ that content must fall into to be covered. These are: literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, sound recordings, films, broadcasts, and typographical arrangements. 

While you may think only ‘creative’ organisations need to worry about copyright, these categories actually cover a broad spectrum. “A literary work could be an instruction manual. An artistic work could be a company logo,” says Joshua Marshall, a senior associate in the intellectual property and technology protection and enforcement team at Fieldfisher. 

The law can be a little grey over when something is copied and when it’s been inspired by another work, Marshall adds: “Existing copyright works can be used as inspiration, provided a qualitatively substantial part of the work is not taken. Just because a part of something has been copied, that does not mean copyright has been infringed.” 

The law could soon change, however. The EU’s Copyright Directive, passed in April 2019, is an effort to modernise copyright legislation, prevent piracy and ensure that original creators are paid properly. The UK has two years to comply, so depending on whether Brexit happens as planned we will need to update our laws. 

Regarding proper pay, Time calculated in 2014 how much artists earned from their songs being streamed on Spotify. Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake it Off’ earned between $280,000 and $390,000 (£228,397 and £318,125), which sounds substantial. But considering the song was streamed 46.3 million times, that makes each play worth less than a penny. This money could then be split further, depending on whether Swift owns the full copyright to the song (unlikely). 

Regarding illegal content sharing, video hosting platform YouTube is currently embroiled in talks over whether it will be obliged to roll out an upload filter that will catch and block copyright violations. 

When might I be in breach of the law?

You could be creating copyrighted material without knowing it. Written a staff handbook? That’s copyrighted. Designed a poster campaign? Also copyrighted. Unfortunately you probably don’t own that copyright. 

“Copyright law provides that an employer owns the copyright in works produced by its employees during the normal course of their employment. Where this is not the case – for freelancers and contractors for example – the company would usually take an assignment of the copyright in any work produced by those individuals while working under contract,” explains Freeman. 

“Unlike some other IP rights, copyright is an unregistered right meaning it arises automatically on creation of the ‘work’. As a result businesses and individuals create copyright works every day without realising it,” Marshall adds. 

If you work in a creative or innovation-orientated sector competition (and copying) could be rife. “It may be the case that employees within companies rip each other off,” says Sharp. Which could lead to workplace conflict over who actually created something. 

Anything else?

Copyright law will continue to be topical. The Intellectual Property Office is investing in educating the public, including school children, on copyright issues. 

“There are many threats from people who believe copyright is unnecessary and certainly politicians across Europe would like to see copyright law simplified or abandoned,” explains Sharp. “All of us who work in this world would love to see it simplified but it’s difficult to know how to achieve that – by its very nature its bureaucratic. Protection of creations is an absolute necessity and as yet no-one has come up with a better system.”

The article first appeared in HR Magazine News

Young People NEET or Activity Unknown: Comparative Data scorecard
October 21, 2019
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Data about young people’s education, employment or training status in each local authority in England.

This scorecard provides information about young people’s participation and attainment in education, employment or training in a single publication.

The scorecard:

  • allows local authorities and their partners to monitor their own performance and compare it with that of others
  • puts into context local authorities’ figures on the proportion of young people not in education, employment or training (‘NEET’) and those with unknown education, employment or training status
Documents

NEET scorecard

NEET scorecard – metadata

Neet scorecard – underlying data

NEET scorecard – underlying data

Published October 2019

Only Half of 16-18 Year-Olds Plan on Going to University
October 21, 2019
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New research from jobs board, Monster.co.uk shows that today’s 16-18 year-olds no longer see a university degree as the only route to a good career. Just 53% say they are considering going to university, whilst 22% plan on completing an apprenticeship.

This is a significant drop since 2013 when 86% of young people said that a university education was important.[1]

With the average student graduating with over £50,000 of debt, 42% of school leavers are put off from going to university because of money.[2] And over a third (35%) believe that doing a degree doesn’t guarantee you a great job.

Monster.co.uk’s research shows that teenagers and their parents are broadly in agreement. When asked, 48% of parents and 60% of school leavers believe that getting a degree will get you a better job than completing an apprenticeship. Whilst 41% of parents think an apprenticeship is the best route for their child. 

Across the UK, parents and teenagers in the North East have the most positive outlook towards apprenticeships. 37% of teens in the region are considering an apprenticeship, compared to UK average of 22%. For parents in the North East, 69% believed apprenticeships stand you in better stead to get a good job than gaining a degree. With the North East currently home to the country’s highest unemployment rate, apprenticeships offer an immediate route into work, rather than going to university and graduating with huge debt and no job guarantee.[3]

Derek Jenkins, General Manager UK & Ireland, Monster.co.ukmonster.ie  comments: “With the cost of university tuition young people are moving away from the idea that degrees are essential to getting a good job. While it’s great to see more options available, making this huge decision at a young age is putting school leavers under a lot of pressure. At 16, 17 or 18 who honestly knows what they want to do for the rest of their lives? Instead of rushing into something, consider taking a year out to do internships and gain experience in different industries, or go travelling before making that decision.

“Whatever route you do decide to go down, if it doesn’t work out, don’t panic. You won’t be the first person to drop out of university or switch careers. Often it’s only through trial and error that you end up where you really want to be”

For anyone concerned that they won’t be able to get a good job without a degree, there are still a number of high paying and interesting jobs that you don’t need a degree for. Monster have created the top 10 highest paying jobs that you don’t need a degree for:

The top 10 highest paying jobs which you don’t need a degree for

1. Firefighter – Firefighters can earn up to £40,000 per year, depending on their rank. General managers can earn around the £30,000 mark, but if you become a station manager you may collect upwards of 40k. To start, you’ll need to pass written exams and aptitude tests. You must be fit too – a number of physical exams are included as part of the selection process.

2. Police constable – As a police officer, there’s a variety of different roles you can do, and it’s not all about being out on the streets fighting crime directly. Depending on where you are, salaries start at around £20,000 with the potential for growth of £45,000 and upwards for sergeants.  Once you get into inspector territory as your career progresses, you can expect up to £50,000.

3. Entrepreneur – You don’t technically need any qualifications to become a business owner – just a huge amount of drive, determination and a brilliant idea. With 1 in 10 Brits dreaming of owning their own businesses, what you earn will depend on how successful you are.[4]

4. Train and tram drivers – Newly-qualified drivers can earn up to £25,000, while experienced ones take home up to £50,000. There are some great benefits too, like free and discounted rail travel.

5. Training managers – Training managers conduct training programmes for employers in a variety of different sectors. The average national salary is £37,000, with the potential for more, depending on the company, industry experience and location.

6. Project manager – Project managers can work in a variety of different fields and are responsible for making sure the project is a success. Responsibilities include planning, budgeting, overseeing and documenting. The average salary is around £40,000 depending on the area and location.

7. Air traffic controllers – There’s no degree needed here, but you will need a calm nerve, 5 GCSEs and three years’ training to obtain your air traffic control licence from the National Air Traffic Services (NATS). Starting salaries are £17,000 to £21,000, while experienced controllers can reach up to £50,000 depending on where you work and shift allowances.

8. Sales managers – Sales managers are responsible for leading their sales team to success. You’ll need excellent communication and management skills, as well as proficient IT knowledge. Basic salaries start at £18,000 and can reach a potential of £100,000 – and more thanks to commission.

9. Construction manager – Being a construction manager involves having good leadership and communication skills in order to coordinate and supervise projects. Although some of the work can be done from the office, this role also means working on-site – in all weather. On the plus side, Construction Managers can earn upwards of £50,000.

10. Hazardous-waste manager – It might not sound appealing at first, but managers in this field can expect to receive upwards of £36,000 to get rid of hazardous by-products produced by organisations such as hospitals and factories. The level of skill required to do this role makes it incredibly lucrative.

  1. Censuswide survey of 500 UK 16-18 year-olds
  2. Monster survey of 1100 UK parents
  3. Monster Jobs Confidence Index Q3 report