COMMUNIA organised the first meeting of our new project ‘Copyright for Education’ at the beginning of December. We invited over a dozen stakeholders and experts from the education field, from organisations such as Wikimedia Deutschland and the Reading and Writing foundation. One of the essential questions of the meeting was how can we collaborate for a better copyright for education. We want the broad education sector to have a voice in the current copyright reform.
The transformation of education
Participants in our meeting discussed how technological developments have opened a lot of new opportunities for educators. It has become easier to share and collaborate with one another, even when you are miles apart – as proven by the European eTwinning project. Many organisations and schools are already working on transforming education in the digital age. They are adapting the mindset of Erasmus, the European exchange program that enables EU students to study abroad, to the way they share, teach and collaborate.
Yet copyright does not adapt quickly enough to keep up. Everyone at our workshop was able to share concrete examples of copyright problems in education from their own experience. For example, for many teachers it is unclear if and how they can share material as simple as a poem. They do not always know if they can link it in an email sent directly to their students or should put the link in the closed network of the school. We cannot simply attribute this to a lack of knowledge on copyright. Copyright should be clear and consistent, so that you do not have to be a copyright expert alongside being a teacher.
We want to create better ways in bundling our expertise and networks so that we can create a better understanding of copyright within the educational sector, involve teachers in the current debates around the proposed education exceptions and show that we publicly support the same cause. There is little time left to change the course of the current proposal. Therefore, we want to broaden our network with stakeholders and experts from the education field that share COMMUNIA’S point of view on copyright for education, so that we can join our efforts and start a durable collaboration to let our voices be heard.
COMMUNIA wants an education exception:
- that is mandatory in every country and that is the same in every country – to enable collaboration between teachers and the sharing of knowledge
- instead of licenses – to create a unified copyright landscape
- ‘for educational purposes’ – so that the exceptions are not limited to formal educational establishments and covers institutions such as libraries and museums that play a key role in non-formal education
- under which using materials for educational purposes should be non-remunerated
If you share a feeling of great urgency to fix copyright for education, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can work together!