University of Brescia (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Page: 7802 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
This paper aims at investigating the legal framework of Open Educational Resources (OER).

OER comprise learning, teaching and research material available in the public domain or released under open license.
Such definition stands out the area of copyright, which protects intellectual property rights, and embraces the copyleft’s approach, based on creative common licenses (CCL) and, particularly, open licenses.

The analysis will take into account the juridical underpinnings of Open Licenses and their practical and operational drawbacks in the management of educational content.

The results will be placed in the context of m-learning and global distance education. An Open Educational Resource can be modified or adapted in order to be available on different platforms and devices, despite geographical or technological limitations. Not to mention the opportunity to allow learners with disability to gain access to the content without limitations (e.g. converting into audio a written document with a text-to-speech software, the use of which is usually forbidden in copyrighted works).

To better understand the differences, a short insight on the history of creative works’ protection could be useful. Gutenberg innovations' in printing led to the opportunity to protect the rights of authors and publishers. Copyright has been the only and, therefore, the most effective way to protect your creative work ever since.

It lies on the concept of Intellectual Property, defining the rights concerned (the so-called Intellectual Property Rights IPRs).

On this basis, it is clearly an all-or-nothing option: the owner has all the rights reserved, although he could sell, or let someone else manage, some of them.
In more recent times, we underwent a similar revolution: internet. The free Software movement led to the drafting of some new licences (GPL, GNU). This expertise was later transferred in a new, more comprehensive movement called Copyleft in order to underline its own unique perspective and its difference from Copyright.

The digital content offers many possibilities, with the Creative Common Licenses the Author can choose which rights to retain and how he would prefer its work to be used and re-used. They're not substituting the Copyright, but filling the holes and offering new opportunity to share and collaborate in creative work.

The CCL, nowadays drafted in the 4.0 version, represent a powerful tool to boost educational resources and e-learning systems in compliance with law, rights and in perfect accordance with development and evolution.
Copyright, Copyleft, Digital Content, Open Educational Resources