Educators Advocate for Better Copyright Reform

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Following the European Commission’s Proposal for a Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, the COMMUNIA Association published a position paper that discusses the proposals in the directive. The COMMUNIA Association’s reaction to the directive proposal can be summarized as follows: “From our perspective the proposal, while well intended, is a missed opportunity to provide the robust education exception that educators, students and everyone else engaging in educational activities, both online and offline, needs.” From the point of view of history and citizenship educators, the issue of copyright and copyright infringements serves as a barrier for – first and foremost – teachers and their ability to provide good education. The COMMUNIA Association therefore argues for a mandatory exception for educational purposes that does not primarily focus on the type educator or institution, but rather on the educational purpose of the used materials. It emphasizes the need for a balance between the rights of copyright owners and the public interest.

EUROCLIO fully supports COMMUNIA’s stance. Steven Stegers, programme director, stated that:

“We believe that educators should be provided with the autonomy necessary for them to give the best possible learning opportunities for students, and that students and other learners should have the freedom required for effective independent learning. The choice of resources that an educator uses should only be dependent on the need they see in their students.”

EUROCLIO considers COMMUNIA’s stance to be in complete accordance with its mission and manifesto. With that in mind, EUROCLIO, together with thirty-three other organisations and seventeen individuals, signed a joint letter of concern, which carries out the common concern regarding the European Commission’s directive proposal.

Read more about the need for copyright reform, as well as COMMUNIA’s entire position paper on http://www.communia-association.org/2016/12/05/commissions-proposal-education-devil-detail and http://www.communia-association.org/2017/02/08/clear-statement-educational-sector-need-better-copyright-reform.

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