Monday, June 29, 2020

Copyright Law for Digital Learning

I last wrote here about Copyright Law for Digital Teaching and Learning in 2015.  Since then, new legislation has been enacted - the Copyright and Other Intellectual Property Law Provisions Act 2019.  

The new Act implements some of the recommendations of the Copyright Review Committee in 2013, and is particularly strong in implementing the education provisions.  The Committee's members were Eoin O'Dell, Patricia McGovern and Steve Hedley.  

I was asked to give a talk at a seminar today for the Irish Universities Association Enhancing Digital Teaching and Learning in Irish Universities #IUADigEd.  I've made the slides available here.  I've also produced an updated version of some of the relevant sections of copyright legislation.  

There's a lot to take account of in making decisions about what is permissible copyright-wise for digital learning.  If the work you wish to use is a literary work (broadly defined) or an image which is an integral part of a literary work, then a college needs to abide by the Irish Copyright Licensing Agency licence, but bear in mind that a new licence will be produced for the next academic year.  

[Update:  the new ICLA licence is now available:  see here and here.]  

However, if the work is, for example, a video (referred to as a "film" in copyright law), then one can rely on the new broad exceptions in section 57A and section 57B.  Section 57A on 'distance learning' applies to all students in a  college, not just those taking online courses.  It allows the video to be communicated "as part of a lesson" to a  student by telecommunication.  

In the slides, I refer to the very useful work in this field by Jane Secker and Chris Morrison in the UK (here and here) and by Teresa Nobre for COMMUNIA (here and here).  See also Eoin O'Dell's recent post on Coronavirus and copyright – or, the copyright concerns of the widespread move to online instruction

At European level, we are watching closely the implementation of the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive, in particular Article 5 on "Use of works and other subject matter in digital and cross-border teaching activities."   In Ireland, the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation is dealing with the national implementation of the Directive.  This Department will shortly be renamed as the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.  It is possible that responsibility for Intellectual Property might be transferred to one of the other renamed Departments.  

Catherine Cronin also spoke at the same seminar, discussing OER and OEP: Open licenses for digital Teaching & Learning.  She emphasised why Open Education is so valuable (under Access, Equity and Pedagogy headings).  Her slides are here

A video recording of the seminar is available here.  

We have a list of resources related to the seminar here.  

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