In September 2016, the European Commission proposed a Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (DSMD). The objective of this Directive was to adapt EU copyright laws to the developments brought by digital technologies. This was a welcome opportunity to improve the legal framework for education in Europe, but the proposal fell short of expectations.
We assume that the proposed Directive will be voted in the beginning of 2018, after which we need to ask ourselves the question whether the Directive will benefit open education in Europe. During our presentation we will therefore answer the question: How open can open education be in the European Union?
The DSMD would introduce a mandatory exception or limitation to copyright for digitally-supported educational activities, which can be overriden to the extent that adequate licenses authorising the acts allowed under the exception are easily available in the market.
To understand whether licensing agreements for educational uses can offer an adequate solution to the needs of the educational community, we are conducting a study that maps different types of licensing agreements for educational use existing in at least three European countries, among which the United Kingdom. Our study analyses different licensing agreements: Licensing schemes that are used to complement the teaching exception, allowing for additional uses;Licensing schemes for uses of protected content in teaching activities that prevail over the teaching exception;Extended collective licensing for educational uses.
This study is complementary to the studies we conducted before on the copyright exceptions and limitations in Europe, which showed that the legal framework in Europe is highly fragmented (Nobre 2017).
Copyright should not unnecessarily obstruct good education. Open education is able to support learning outcomes in traditional and non-traditional settings across borders. It is important to understand within what legal framework open education needs to operate in the years to come and more importantly, whether this framework will work for education.
COMMUNIA (2016). Policy Paper #11 on leveraging copyright in support of education.
PPMI Public Policy and Management Institute (2016). Assessment of the impact of the European copyright framework on digitally supported education and training practices.
Nobre, Teresa (2017). Copyright and Education in Europe: 15 everyday cases in 15 countries.