Education Copyright

Intellectual Property
Home / South Africa / Education Copyright

Education copyright has come a long way from the days when instructors often compiled course packs for their students consisting of photocopied materials without obtaining permission to do so from the publishers or the authors. Copyright in education was often misinterpreted as not applicable to such course packs or materials placed on reserve at educational labs because the works were used for the purpose of education. Through proper copyright education at secondary and tertiary institutions, instructors have come to realise that copyright infringement takes place when no permissions are sought from the publishers or authors.

Although used for educational purposes the works are still copyright protected and the authors and publishers still have a right to compensation for the use of the works. As such one should note that even regarding copyright in education, one should apply for permission from the relevant parties to use the materials in course packs whether for commercial or educational usage.

The instructor must obtain the clearance for usage of the materials by making use of clearance services, bookstores, copy shops, their department administrative divisions or the legal and printing departments at their specific institutions. There are private clearance services which will handle the whole process on the part of the instructor. One can also make use of an intellectual property attorney to handle the process and to obtain legal advice regarding copyright in education. This of course, also applies to electronic course packs and not only printed course packs.

It is essential to also obtain permission for works even not in print. One should note that even works which are out of print still carry copyright also when it comes to usage in education. To ensure that permission is obtained before due date for usage, one must apply for permission from the various parties well in advance.