Copyright Reform for Education

The technological ages created new possibilities for educational practices. We need copyright law that enables teachers to provide the best education they are capable of and that fits the needs of teachers in the 21st century. Earlier research has shown that copyright is unnecessarily restrictive for teachers and that it fragmented nature in Europe creates legal uncertainty among teachers. The new proposal of the Commission had the opportunity to provide a solution for educational uses in the classroom and online, an education exception that is technology-neutral and mandatory, but did not deliver.

The aim of COMMUNIA’s project Copyright for Education is twofold. First, we will continue legal research on educational exceptions and limitations, based on the research done by Teresa Nobre. With the aim of providing reliable evidence to COMMUNIA and other stakeholders that wish to engage in discussions concerning the European Commission plans to make legislative proposals on the EU exception for “illustration for teaching”. This legal research will map the fragmented landscape of copyright rules in Europe. This enables us to see how copyright restricts teachers in doing what they do best.

Secondly, we will conduct research on modern educational practices with relation to copyright. The digital era has created many opportunities for teachers to teach their students in new and engaging ways. We will interview teachers in different members states of the European Union that use digital technology in their classes to understand which outdated legal rules limit modern, innovative education. The outcomes of this research will help us understand what an education exception should encompass.

The legal research on exceptions and limitations as well as the research on modern educational practices will help policymakers in developing a future-proof education exception that keeps teachers teaching instead of figuring out the intricacies of copyright law. We want to raise awareness about copyright in education, and the need to reform the copyright system, among educational institutions and educators. This way educators can raise their voice in the current copyright reform in order to reform copyright in such a way that it facilitates modern education.

Get in touch!

Would you like to know more about Copyright for Education? Contact us at This project is funded by the Open Society Foundation.

Relevant links:

View collection at

Commission’s proposal on education: the devil is in the details

Best Case Scenarios for Copyright

Policy paper #11 on leveraging copyright in support of education