Creative media and storytelling

Ethics and Copyright

This scenario has been provided by Dr Fiona Peterson, Director of Learning & Teaching, School of Creative Media. They are fictitious but are realistic situations for some students and staff. Discussion response provided by Anne Lennox

Angela is doing the Master of Creative Media by coursework. She is doing her individual project on digital asset management and needs to find a relevant case study, but this is proving difficult. Time is running short – it’s already 4 weeks into semester and only nine weeks to go.

She decides to try a different story-telling approach in her, to support her web site project. She hopes lecturer Toni Grey will approve this because she wants to extend what she learned in Story-telling, a core course in her Masters.

Angela is working part time for Geoff, an industry practitioner in high demand. Angela wants to ask Geoff to tell her his story – how he started his practice and what difference it made when he learned how to manage digital assets effectively. In her exegesis, Angela wants to weave Geoff’s story in with her own reflections on her work experience within Geoff’s environment.


As Angela’s task involves the collection of information on a particular person’s life, Angela needs to be aware of privacy law and also the ethics process.

With regards to copyright, Angela needs to gain the permission of the people to whom she is going to collect stories from. In gaining permission Angela should try to think into the future as to how she might like to use the information collected. The permission form should reflect the rights Angela is seeking to obtain such as:

  • Right to reproduce into a paper the stories collected
  • Right to create a multimedia work from the stories collected
  • Right to create a film script from the stories collected
  • Right to develop the film script into a short film

As you can see from above depending on the outcome the rights that need to be obtained can be far reaching. It is best to plan you intentions and then set about to obtain the appropriate rights from the copyright holders of the material. Permission should always be in writing.