case study

Case study

Completing a digital assignment on Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Entrance to Shakespeare's Birthplace sign-13Feb2005.jpg

Theresa Brown, is a first year, registered student taking a Media Studies course at the local university. She is preparing an assignment on Hamlet by William Shakespeare. She is required to publish the assignment online, and also prepare a slide show with an audio summary. The university provides a hosted website for each of its students in the course but access to the site is restricted to registered students taking the course who are provided with password access. A number of students do not have affordable access to the internet at home, so Theresa wants to include local copies of supporting resources she has found on the open web for download from the website that will only be accessible through the institution’s local network. She plans to include the following resources:

  1. The full text of Hamlet edited by Charles Kean who died in 1868.
  2. An image of the portrait of Hamlet, by William Morris Hunt (1824 – 1879) housed by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
  3. A digital copy of the Cobbe portrait of William Shakespeare recently discovered in March 2009. (See press release published by The Guardian.)
  4. A local copy of the BLC production of Hamlet from Youtube.
  5. Theresa has compiled a slide show with an audio summary which she will host on Slideshare. Her slide show was based on her own original research work drawing on a winning essay published by Penguin on the Signet Essay Competition site, openly accessible on the web.

Question 4: The Youtube video of Hamlet


Copyright questions on the BBC video

This question refers to this Video of Hamlet from Youtube.

Choose the correct option. Afterwards, we suggest that you review the feedback on the incorrect options as these also contain valuable information.
  • Is the video protected by copyright?
    • Yes
      • Correct. The video is an artistic work and is protected by copyright which is owned by BLC productions. The original music is also protected by copyright.
    • No
      • Incorrect. The video is owned by the BLC productions and is protected by copyright because it is an artistic work. The original music is also protected by copyright.
  • Given that anybody with an Internet connection can access and view the video on Youtube, can Theresa include a local copy of the video in her course?
    • Yes
      • Incorrect. The fact that the video is accessible by anyone on the web, does not change the status of the copyright. Viewing of this video is protected by Youtube’s “standard license” expressed in their terms of service, agreed by the copyright holder when the video was published on the site. It would be permissible to embed the video using an approved Youtube embeddable player. However, copyright licensing agreements negotiated by the university for the payment of a fee may permit a local copy assuming that the Copyright holder of this video is included in the licensing scheme.
    • No
      • Correct. Theresa would not be able to make a local copy of the video for inclusion in her course without prior permission from the copyright holder or clearances based on existing copyright licensing agreements. She can include a link to the Youtube ensuring that learners are clear that they are viewing the video on the Youtube website at the point they leave her web site or alternatively she can embed the video using an approved Youtube player.