An education union guide to copyrights and copywrongs in education and research

published 28 August 2019 updated 7 March 2023

Copyright laws around the world are being changed to accommodate the digital environment. It is essential that education unions take an active role in copyright reforms to ensure that teachers and researchers are not deprived of their rights to use and build upon creative works for teaching, learning and research.

Teachers and researchers – as both users and creators of copyrighted educational materials - have an important voice that needs to be part of the process. This module is part one of a two-part toolkit to help teachers, researchers and education unions to understand their interests and rights in copyright reform as users and owners of creative works and take action to defend these interests.

This Module 1 focuses on the first set of issues – the user rights. It aims to:

  • provide a brief introduction to copyright legislation and policies;
  • illustrate examples of how copyright policy impacts teaching, researching and learning for educators and researchers as users and creators of works;
  • provide policy recommendations that education unions can use to defend a balanced approach to copyright legislation.