Is it legal? Education and Copyright in the Digital Age

published 23 May 2022 updated 7 March 2023

This study intends to demonstrate whether copyright exceptions and limitations for educational purposes are fit for remote educational practices. Several studies commissioned by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) have analysed the copyright frameworks for education across the world8. The author has also previously analysed the fragmented landscape of provisions allowing for educational uses of copyrighted works and other protected materials in Europe, as well as in Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

This study draws on and goes beyond these earlier findings to better understand whether existing national education exceptions across the world have the necessary flexibility to cover activities that take place remotely. It does this by analysing 10 digital and remote teaching and learning activities that involve the use of copyrighted materials and other protected materials under the copyright laws of 10 African countries (Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Zimbabwe), 10 countries from the Asia-Pacific region (Australia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam), 10 countries in Europe and North America (Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, United Kingdom, United States), and 10 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico).