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Copyright Reform – CREATe Resources

Javiera Atenas - June 13, 2018 in communication, copyright, Featured

Guest post by Kerry Patterson CREATe Community Manager Copyright Reform is a few votes away. The European Union may require those who share news to obtain licences first (permissions against payment). The EU may require platforms to filter content uploaded by users (aimed at music files but also applying to new digital expressions, such as memes and parodies). Following the adoption of a position of the Council of the European Union on 25 May 2018, the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) will vote on the proposed Copyright Directive on 20 June. It is extremely rare for a later plenary vote to overturn the lead committee’s position. So, the destiny of the controversial directive may be settled shortly. This is an important junction in copyright policy, as the Copyright Directive could be the most far reaching European copyright intervention since the 2001 Information Society Directive. CREATe is the UK Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy, based at the University of Glasgow. The Centre brings together an interdisciplinary team of academics from law, economics, management, computer science, sociology, psychology, ethnography and critical studies. CREATe believes that we can know who is right, and who is wrong. Our resource page [] tracks the progress of the European Commission’s Reform Package through the complex EU process of law making and signposts significant independent scientific research. It also offers a timeline of the policy making process for the Copyright in the Digital Single Market directive, and access to draft documents where they have become available (sometimes as leaks).
Text Kerry Patterson -CREATe Community Manager  Images Davide Bonazzi/Copyright User

Adopting Open Textbooks in the UK

Javiera Atenas - March 27, 2018 in communication, Featured, guestpost, oer, OpenTextbooks

By Beatriz de los Arcos In March of 2017 the Open Education Research (OER) Hub received a small grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to assess whether current US models of open textbook adoption would translate to the …

Illuminating the global OER community with data

Javiera Atenas - January 29, 2018 in communication, Data, Featured, guestpost, oer, world

This is the first post of a serie of notes shared by the members of the Open Education Working Group Advisory Board. In this post, Jan Neumann (@trugwaldsaenger ‏) shares the latest news of the OER World Map project

Educators ask for a better copyright

Javiera Atenas - January 16, 2018 in communication, copyright, Featured, oer

Today we, the OEWG, publish a joint letter initiated by Communia Association for the Public Domain that urgently requests to improve the education exception in the proposal for a Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (DSM Directive). The

OpenEdu Policies reports – JRC Research Centre

Javiera Atenas - January 15, 2018 in communication, Featured, oer, Open Policies

By Paul Bacsich   Co-coordinator and policy lead  of the Open Education Working Group — Hot off the press: OpenEdu Policies reports . These reports are the final outcome of one and a half intense years of research into open education …

Support the Petition for a Mediterranean Erasmus Generation & the Manifesto for a new Mediterranean of knowledge

Javiera Atenas - January 8, 2018 in communication, developing-world, Featured

Dear Open Education Fellows
UNIMED has launched its Petition for a Mediterranean Erasmus Generation. Your support, both as individuals and as institutions, is of crucial importance.

The Petition, which you can read and endorsed here, is aimed at

Webinar on Open Education and Open Science: a summary

Annalisa Manca - April 18, 2017 in communication, Events, oer, Open Science

This is a summary of a recent Webinar in which Guido Scherp, the Coordinator of “Leibniz Research Alliance Science 2.0” (LRA) and Lorna Campbell, one of our Advisory Board members and expert in open education, answered

Open Science Conference 2017: a Webinar with Guido Scherp

Annalisa Manca - April 6, 2017 in communication, Events, Featured, oer, Open Science

What do Open Science and Open Education have in common? Why is it important to speak about Open Education and Open Science? What do us Open Educators need to learn from Open Scientists and vice versa? Do we need to

The Open University of Brazil goes open

Javiera Atenas - September 29, 2016 in communication, Featured, guestpost, oer

In this post (reposted from Edaberta), Tel Amiel tell us about the new OER repository from the Open University of Brazil.
Aerial view of the Amazon rainforest, near Manaus, by Neil Palmer [CC BY-SA 2.0]

Aerial view of the Amazon rainforest, near Manaus, by Neil Palmer [CC BY-SA 2.0]

The Open University of Brazil (UAB), a consortium of over 100 public higher education institutions in Brazil, has just announced its open educational resources repository — eduCAPES, during the 9th meeting of UAB Coordinators in Brasília. The repository is part of a series of activities aimed at promoting OER within the UAB System.   Our research group has been engaged in promoting openness at UAB since 2010. In 2013 we begin researching the institutions that make up UAB in order to understand how they engaged in the production and dissemination of educational resources. We found valuable initiatives aimed at promoting openness at each institution. Different challenges and strategies had been tried and implemented, and this collective knowledge could be used to remove barriers and promote a system-wide effort towards the production and dissemination of OER. One of the biggest barriers to opening up resources was the lack of a national policy on licensing of resources by DED/CAPES (the organization within the Ministry of Education that coordinates the UAB System). screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-18-09-07 A series of initiatives took place: DED/CAPES hired consulting to identify possibilities for open licensingIED (OER Brazil) provided much needed awareness on OER, and multiple discussions ensued on the benefits of adopting a more liberal, copyleft, as a standard. The System produces a massive mount of resources — videos, books, simulations — which were only used within the courses offered by UAB. The next call for the production of resources (2017) will require an open license, preferably CC-BY-SA. DED/CAPES is also working directly with each Institution to open up older resources. Acceptable licenses also include CC-BY, CC-BY-NC, e CC-BY-NC-SA. The open license mandate is part of a larger set of initiatives aimed at promoting openness at UAB. We are currently developing (along with UFPR and IED) an open course on OER which will be offered in 2017. We are also finalizing a comprehensive questionnaire on the production, dissemination and use of educational resources to be sent to UAB personnel, in order to expand on what we learned during our research project; this knowledge will be used to tailor the course to their specific barriers, needs and interests. The eduCAPES portal is also “born open” in the sense that it operates with a focus on open licenses (primary CC, other compatible licenses accepted). It will host novel content but will also work in a federation model, aggregating metadata from institutional repositories. These activities benefit from the efforts of those who make up the System, as well as the folks at DED/CAPES, who together are working to make UAB more open More information on the CAPES press release (English or Portuguese original)
My presentation on the 9th meeting  (ODP ou PDF) – Portuguese.
More info on the UAB System on this interactive map.
A historical overview of licensing and OER at UAB by Duran, M.R. (Portuguese). — About the author telamielTel Amiel is a researcher at NIED, University of Campinas (UNICAMP) where he coordinates the UNESCO Chair in Open Education. He has previously been a visiting fellow at the University of Wollongong and a visiting professor at Utah State University. He currently conducts research funded by FAPESP and CAPES on schooling and teacher professional development at the intersection of open education, educational technology, and school improvement. UNESCO Chair in Open Education site (

New © reform proposal: we need to get a better copyright for education

Javiera Atenas - September 23, 2016 in communication, copyright, Featured, oer

In this new post, Lisette Kalshoven presents an interesting overview on the current issues of the copyright reform.   Open Education and copyright reform advocates are in this together: we both aim to give educators the flexibility to improve on the teaching materials they use, increasing access to quality education for to those who don’t necessarily have the funds, and to give teachers the ability to enjoy the advantages of modern technology without breaking the law. As Alek Tarkowski wrote last year: we are two sides of the same coin. COMMUNIA, which advocates for policies that expand the public domain and increase access to and reuse of culture and knowledge, asked copyright policy experts from civil society organisations like Wikimedia and Creative Commons on why the current copyright reform needs our input:
Copyright Reform: Unlocking copyright for users?

Copyright Reform: Unlocking copyright for users?

My side of the coin, the one arguing for copyright reform for education, has gotten some interesting news. Last Wednesday the European Commission presented its plan for a copyright reform. While the legislative process is far from over, what is in this proposal is worrying and can affect the daily practice of educators across the EU.

What the problem is with copyright for education now

The Commission is proposing changes to the EU copyright framework because it is outdated. The last major change to the copyright law is from 2001. In the years following the directive Member States implemented the directive specifically to their jurisdictions, creating a patchwork of different laws across the EU, including the possible implementation of an exception for education. While most member states implemented the optional education exception (see the databse) it does not mean we can easily share teaching materials across borders, as all implementations vary. There are some pretty outrageous things that teachers cannot do, for example: Finnish copyright law has no exceptions for creating derivative works in education. So creating translations from foreign language news sites is not allowed. The 2001 implementations of the education exception often left European educators with a pre-digital copyright. The EC heard our call for a more harmonised and modern copyright for education and proposed changes. Unfortunately, they are making it even more untransparent for educators what they can do legally.  
Copyright exceptions

Copyright exceptions

What is in the proposal

In short (and you can read more about it here) the Commission is choosing to not harmonise the existing exception we have in Europe, but adding a new mandatory exception:
  • It only applies to digital resources and online environments, leaving unharmonized most of the face-to-face teaching activities, and also distance learning activities that are developed offline;
  • It only benefits educational establishments, which means that online and digital uses made by teachers and students not affiliated with educational establishments will not be exempted;
  • In the classroom it only covers digital uses (e.g. whiteboards), and the online uses covered can only be made under the closed networks run by the educational establishments (e.g. intranet). Online uses in the open internet, namely uses of protected works in OERs and in MOOCs, will not be covered by the exception.
How the ‘old’ exception and this proposed new one will interact is unclear and will likely be confusing for teachers. As a last note, which is in my opinion the most worrying about the Commission’s proposal for education: the override of the exception if an ‘adequate’ license exists. This is a rule that in practice makes the exception powerless as a tool for supporting education. In short, this proposal is simply not good enough to support education in Europe. We need a better copyright reform for education.

What we are doing to help to keep copyright out of the classroom

As COMMUNIA we are launching a project called Copyright Reform for Education. In this project we are doing legal research to understand current exceptions better; we are asking innovative teachers about modern teaching methods – making sure we understand what a new copyright for education should account for; we are also raising awareness as much as we can, by likely doing a public campaign in the Spring of next year. We are aiming at bringing stakeholders in European education together, advocating for an effective change it copyright. Why? To make sure teachers can focus on what they are good at: teaching.   

Don’t be a stranger

If you would like to know more about why copyright reform is important for educators across Europe and beyond: please have a look at the COMMUNIA Copyright Untangled series on Medium. If you are curious on the legislative process and what is happening in Brussels around copyright that affects you: please follow the COMMUNIA blog and/or on Facebook and Twitter.
If you have questions about the Copyright Reform for Education project, please contact me at We are curious about your thoughts on the matter. If you would like to receive (sporadic) updates about the project, please also drop me a line. We will make sure you are in the loop.About the author lissete3-822x1233Lisette Kalshoven is copyright policy advisor at Kennisland and COMMUNIA in the areas of copyright, heritage and open education. She combines writing policy documents with practical interventions and training sessions for professionals. Creating access to information is always the reference point in her work.