Project „Model for research and increase copyright literacy at the media in the university environment“ is funded by the National science fund in Competition for financial support for project of junior basic researchers and postdocs – 2019

Today, journalism reflects the world around us, and the media play an extremely important role in today’s dynamic and increasingly complex societies. The information society of the 21st century accelerates the pace of development of human intellectual activity. The legal rights of authors of creative products in the media are intellectual property rights. Intellectual property is directly linked to the information contained in its objects, and in this sense the information sources on the Internet can be referred to the intellectual property objects.

Intellectual property is the ownership of the information that intellectual products contain and their creators have full ownership of them. In other words, intellectual property rights must be regarded as objective and subjective right, educational discipline and science. Many discussion questions are raised on the issues outlined, and they are discussed at different levels – legislative and executive, at different forums of the scientific and cultural community, but there are no concrete results, which gives the relevance of the issues discussed in this project. So far, no research in Bulgaria has been conducted on copyright literacy in the media in a university environment, as well as on establishing the legal competence of specialists in this field, as well as of students studying in the fields of journalism, media, public relations, communications. Observations show that this competence is not at the necessary level, there is a real need for additional knowledge and education. Existing models and best practices in Europe and in the world are also unknown.

Within the framework of this project, a study will be conducted, related to the formation of copyright literacy in the media of students learning in the professional field “Public Communications and Information Sciences” at ULSIT and students learning in similar specialties in other higher education institutions; higher education content and programs relevant to this range of knowledge and competences will also be explored. The trend will be identified through a questionnaire survey, to track, through pre-set indicators, factual information on the level of awareness of copyright issues in the media of the students learning journalism, communications, etc.

Changes to the legal infrastructure of culture in our country are necessary and forthcoming. However, along with these processes, there should also be an advance of problem-oriented training of students in journalism, library sciences, as well as continuing education of media workers. Creating conditions for the development of creative thinking and copyright in the field of media in a university environment will contribute to greater competitiveness of learners in the labour market and to the promotion of an active civil society.

In the condition of a digital environment, the media culture of society is changing. The future is oriented towards transcultural thinking, a positive educational environment and effective career development. In the context of interaction between education, economy, innovation of particular importance for their successful realization is the intellectual law literacy, in particular copyright and related rights, of students studying in the professional field 3.5. Public Communications and Information Sciences.

At the University of Library Studies and Information Technologies students are trained in the professional field “Public Communications and Information Sciences” in Bachelor’s Degree in specialties: Library and information management, Archival studies and documentation, Library science and bibliography, Print communications, Information resources of tourism, Communications and information, Public policies and practices; and Master’s degree – Library collections, Library information and cultural management, Business and administrative information technologies and communications, Protection of cultural and historical heritage in the Republic of Bulgaria, Publishing business and electronic resources, Cultural tourism, Cultural and historical heritage in the contemporary information environment, Media information and advertising, Document and archive management, Museum and art management, Religious cultural heritage, Management and informing in strategic communications, Community centre work, State, spirituality and leadership practices, Cultural Policies and Intercultural Relations in Southeast Europe. Improving the competencies of future professionals requires increasing their digital literacy, namely: information literacy, technological literacy, media literacy, as well as copyright literacy in the media. At present, the curricula of students at ULSIT studying in the field of Public Communications and Information Sciences, as well as the curricula of other universities, training journalists, do not offer training related to copyright literacy in the media, which is a prerequisite for developing concept of a model for the formation and enhancement of copyright literacy in the student learning process.

The importance of the project is driven by the growing influence of the media internationally, especially social, and online media. In the 21st century there is an organized unification of different media industries – newspapers, radio, television, communication networks, into whole new model media complexes, which today carries out all the media activity, and soon they are about to become the main market of the future. We are witnessing a new type of mass culture, a new type of organization and management of society through information knowledge and products. The media world is transformed, and this process of change is increasingly influenced by the economy, technologies, and social factors in society. The scientific interest in the problems and current trends in the media industry in terms of copyright literacy in the media in a university environment is provoked by the need to fill some gaps in media industry research, as well as by the fragmentary nature of copyright research aspects of media in a university environment.

The examined issue is extremely relevant, partly concerned with various aspects by some authors, but has not been fully disclosed so far.

The researched issues are becoming more relevant in view of the increased role and importance of the media in the new millennium and the increasingly obsessive tendency for the free use of journalistic materials in the digital space for commercial purposes. The specific manifestations of the interaction between media product creators, their role as authors of knowledge, information and culture for society and overcoming the digital divide and isolation and the need for this to be bound by copyright and related rights – these components outline the relevance of the study.

Copyright literacy in the media should be targeted in the education of students – future specialists in journalism, public relations, print communications and more, on copyright and related rights in the media. The applicable copyright rules, including copyright exceptions and limitations on libraries, educational institutions, museums and archives, must be known for their implementation and for the creation of such training courses, which requires a high level of copyright competence in the media as well as in a university environment, so to managers and professionals who create media content.

In this context, the relevance and importance of scientific issues are determined by the knowledge-based economy and the development of new market-oriented specialties in attractive areas of knowledge that require the syncretic involvement of various arts, media, technologies. On the other hand, is the need for adequate professional training of students in journalism, public relations, print communications and more, on copyright and related rights media. The strategy for the development of science activity has been developed with the conviction that research, technological development and innovation are the engine of the contemporary economy in modern societies of the 21st century. It is in line with the goals of the Innovation Strategy of the Republic of Bulgaria and the measures for its implementation, aimed at increasing the competitiveness of the Bulgarian industry by strengthening the scientific capacity.

The development of science in Bulgaria is linked to the European Union and its main policies and trends. These policies are set out in the Lisbon Strategy and the adopted Europe 2020 Strategy, both in relation to actions aimed at intensive funding for research and the construction of new research infrastructures, and to the creation of networks of national and joint research programs and the strengthening of Europe’s cooperation with third countries.

The present project envisages the establishment of a scientific network to promote the results of the project and support the development of an international project related to the protection of copyright and related rights in the media, respect for the work of the media workers and their rights, and raising students’ copyright literacy in the media. In this way the project will contribute to the professional development of the young scientists and PhD students involved in its activities.

Thus, in line with Horizon 2020, the current project will contribute to new research on the development of copyright literacy in the media, directly related to the specialties in which students at USLIT are trained. They will have the opportunity to gain new knowledge and shared values. Science in Bulgaria has significant potential in most of the major areas of contemporary research. With this project, we will ensure the upgrading of the qualification and skills of the project team, as well as the capacity of the applicant base organization USLIT.

The main focus of the priority scientific infrastructure is to improve the quality of education in higher education in the Republic of Bulgaria, to study the media and cultural environment as one of the goals is for the state to move to the higher places in the ranking of freedom, pluralism and democracy in the media. The finals of this project will involve experts from different institutions, who will help with the qualification and professional experience of successful implementation of the project and its continuation in time.

We can summarize that this project is multidisciplinary in nature, because it involves specialists from different fields of knowledge and the subject matter of the project itself includes the processing of different knowledge in the field of media, statistical processing, integer optimization, computer graphics, etc., helps to increasing media literacy and solving digital divide issues. They also have direct application in education at various levels, and in particular in a university environment. The current state of the issues examined shows that the problem of the media industry from the point of view of national and international legal framework regulating copyright and related rights has not been studied, although in recent years was recognized the need to solve it, which makes the problem even more up-to-date.