How KYOCERA created the world’s first digitised copyright reporting process
Birthplace of the industrial revolution. Home to some of the world’s best and longest established universities and research institutions. A favoured location for knowledge-driven organisations and businesses, as well as netting the highest publishing revenues as a percentage of GDP of any major economy. Yet it’s somehow still easy to overlook what a great job the UK does of both creating and sharing knowledge.
Operating in a pivotal role between copyright owners and content users, the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) has the difficult job of ensuring that the authors, artists and publishers who create the content we all consume, are recognised and receive fair payment when their work is copied or reused.
Reasonable as that may sound, it’s by no means a straightforward task.
Under the CLA licence schools and colleges have a legal requirement to report what they copy and until now that process has been largely manual, paper based, and time-consuming for all involved.
But the reporting is fundamental to the CLA as they use that information to work out which copyright owners to pay.
In schools, the burden of paperwork and the lack of time has long been a gripe for teachers, and unsurprisingly reducing this pressure has become a major objective for the Department for Education and the other national education authorities.
Having access to the widest range of quality textbooks and other resources is essential for schools and colleges and the freedom to lawfully make copies from this content to use in teaching is crucial for education – but it shouldn’t add to the burden.
Digitising the process.
The CLA knew it was possible to streamline their process but didn’t have the technical expertise in house. “Our ultimate aim is to make copyright as simple as we possibly can for all our customers, so we went out and tried to find a partner with the know-how to help,” explains Kevin Gohil, Chief Operating Officer and Group Chief Transformation Officer at the CLA.
In truth, there’s no real shortage of people and organisations with the experience and resources but the CLA were looking for a collaborator that offered the best fit in terms of expertise, experience and ethos. The last point is maybe the trickiest to find. Here’s Rod Barthet, Kyocera UK’s CEO:
“To me, this project felt like the perfect marriage between using innovation to improve processes and doing the right thing. Those are both core values at Kyocera and have been since we were founded.”
Improving workflows is one of CLA’s aims and is at the heart of KYOCERA strategy.
Rod continues, “With an authentic, collaborative relationship established, we were able to bring our innovation, experience and platforms to bear. Switching from paper to efficient digital workflows is at the heart of what we do, even if our multifunction printers are the most recognisable bit of our brand. We have an established technology platform – HyPAS™ – dedicated to powering digital workflows. To achieve the ultra-streamlined results that the CLA hoped for, we proposed to co-develop a specific application with them.”
The first App of its kind – and free to use
The result is a world first. The ‘CopyScanPublications’ app harnesses cutting edge technology to revolutionise and streamline the reporting process undertaken for the CLA by all UK schools and colleges. They are required to tell the CLA what textbooks, magazines and other resources they copy or scan. Now, with one touch, a teacher can make a copy while the HyPAS app captures all the necessary information in the background and communicates it instantly to the CLA’s systems. Almost undetectable in use, it creates both time efficiencies and more accurate data. It is simple to install on a printer through a USB drive.
“The accuracy and granularity that this tool brings will help us to be fairer, and that’s really important to us,” commented Kevin. “It’s really a win-win-win scenario – which is rare in any industry!”
So, what does the future hold?
The world of publishing and the way people are consuming data is changing dramatically. New ways need to be constantly developed to make access to – and licensing of – copyright material as simple and as fair as possible. And that applies across all sectors the CLA license – from business to the public sector – as well as educational institutions. With resources freed up at the CLA, we’re continuing the collaboration.
“We look forward to working closely with Kyocera’s experts on new challenges. This is the start of a much wider conversation.” adds Kevin.
To register interest and find out more about the CopyScanPublications application please contact CopyScanPublications@cla.co.uk