This proposed treaty on copyright exceptions should matter to the Open Education community

Discussion is building at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) about a setting out norms that require all countries to have limitations and exceptions in their copyright law to allow key teaching, learning, and research activities to take place without infringing copyright.

International copyright treaties often feel outside the realm of OER practitioners, but the Civil Society Proposed Treaty on Copyright Exceptions for Educational and Research Activities can play a important role in supporting the free flow of Open Educational Resources (OER) from country to country.

One of the most valuable characteristics of OER is that authors and practitioners contribute to a global commons of resources that are free to use and adapt, including across national borders. Having clear international norms for exceptions to copyright for education allow OER authors and users to more confidently incorporate third-party materials for reference and illustration of OER content.  Copyright limitations and exceptions are key to the ability to create accurate and engaging resources addressing history, culture, and literature. This treaty will further support the ability of these materials to be used and reimagined with confidence across the world.

>> For more discussion of the importance of copyright flexibilities for education see the Capetown +10 discussion on copyright reform for education.

That’s why we’re encouraging OER authors, publishers, and advocates to support the Civil Society Proposed Treaty on Copyright Exceptions for Educational and Research Activities.  A summary of the treaty is available here, the full text of the treaty here, and finally the sign-on form here.

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