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ERIC Number: ED511280
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-8949-7538-4
Copyright and Open Educational Resources
Prabhala, Achal
Commonwealth of Learning
Copyright vests automatically in most countries around the world, whether or not the creator of an educational work wishes to exert copyright in its entirety. What this means for education, unfortunately, is that all traditionally produced, printed textbooks, are to a large extent "locked." Even digital resources such as those available on the Internet are restricted. In the traditional scenario, the promise of the Internet is thwarted: blind users, for instance, cannot necessarily convert a text file into an audio file in order to access it; teachers in poorly resourced schools cannot necessarily distribute copies of a textbook without paying heavy fees; schools which operate in a particular local language cannot simply translate a book or an essay that they wish to use in education. All of these situations, however, could be--and are--averted with OERs. The promise of the OER is that permission to use, even modify, is granted to anyone who wants it. In a minority of countries around the world, copyright law is applied in a manner that allows flexibility on the part of educators. In a majority of countries, however, it is not: and it is in these countries where the presence of OERs is all the more necessary and urgent, for it autonomously institutes a system of fairness, equity and sharing, without waiting for the law to change. This paper provides legal information on Open Educational Resources (OERs). (Contains 10 footnotes and 15 resources.)
Commonwealth of Learning. 1055 West Hastings Suite 1200, Vancouver BC V6E 2E9, Canada. Tel: 604-775-8200; Fax: 604-775-8210; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Commonwealth of Learning