Behind the platforms: Safeguarding intellectual property rights and academic freedom in Higher Education

published 6 May 2024 updated 14 May 2024
written by:

Higher education (HE) faces a complex landscape of digital technology services, shaping educators’ labour and working conditions in new ways. Two particular issues are ownership of intellectual property (IP) and academic freedom when using digital education services such as edtech platforms. Edtech platforms complicate questions of academic ownership of content and teaching materials, and can impact educators’ academic freedom in teaching.

The headline finding of this study is that the increasing digitalisation and ‘platformisation’ of HE is resulting in a complex, messy combination of technical, legal and financial factors relating to academic IP and academic freedom, which are often complicated further by different governance and copyright regimes across national borders and individual institutions.