Creators in Education Sector Critical

February 13, 2013 | Author

Recognition of the valuable work done by creators in the education sector is critical for the ongoing investment in quality content for Australian students.

Several articles have been published recently on issues surrounding education and copyright. In a blog post by Canadian novelist John Degan, he argues against the recent actions by the Ontario Library and Information Technology Association (OLITA) who passed a Resolution opposing the Access Copyright Licence Agreements, drawing further attention to the current global debate about the value of content creation. Access Copyright is a Canadian fellow rights management organisation and copyright licensing agency.

Degan says, ‘It’s inconceivable to me that someone working in the chronically underfunded library system, or the increasingly underfunded education system could conclude that it is somehow fair or desirable to expect their most loyal and essential partners to suddenly work for free.’

He points out some altogether familiar misrepresentations and inaccuracies in the statements made by the OLITA resolution which also neatly ignores some of the more critical elements, much of which easily translates to the Australian market. ‘Stop paying Canadian writers and publishers for their work, and you set in motion an economic mill wheel that will almost certainly come around to crush those most dependent on the product of Canadian writers and publishers. Don’t Canadian library workers want Canadian content?’ says Degan.

Degan advocates the value of the virtuous cycle of content creation and rallies against calls by Canadian librarians to provide exceptions to copyright for libraries and the education sector.

An article published online this week by News revealed school funding in NSW is being hit hard. In some instances, limits are being placed on the amount of paper used in classrooms, and parents are being encouraged to supply paper for the classroom or pay a paper levy per student.

Interestingly, this amounts to a similar or even higher payment for blank paper than the licence fee currently paid for access to all the educational content teachers use in schools.

Excellent educators and access to a diverse range of quality educational resources transform the lives of students. Recognition of the value of the work done by creators in the educational sector is critical for the ongoing investment in quality content. Members are encouraged to take an active role in advocating for the ongoing support of the Educational Statutory licence.

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