In the next year the European Parliament and the European Council will decide what educators can legally do when it comes to using, publishing, and adapting sources that are normally protected by copyright over the course of the next ten years. The legislation that is now being made is the type of legislation that is mandatory for all EU member states to adapt in their national legislation, and therefore will have a big impact on your educational practices. Because everything that is created, unless it is licensed under an open licence, remains in copyright until 70 years after the death of its creator, almost all sources related to teaching and learning history of the twentieth century, are protected by copyright. So, almost all music, paintings, films, documentaries, press photographs, and other types of sources you are not allow to use, unless there is copyright exception for education.
The good news, is that the new legislation includes a European wide exception that is mandatory for education. But the bad news is that this exception in its current form, only allows for the use of parts of the source (image using only a part of painting), only for the time that is needed for the learning of the student (which is ambiguous), only on online environments of 1 school (which would not allow for online school partnerships), and to make it mandatory for states to pay for the collective licenses. Also, there is an exception on the exception, which means that copyright rules can still be different from country to country, making the legislation unnecessarily complex. EUROCLIO is working with Communia and the Lifelong Learning Platform to change this legislation for the better, and with this you can help.
You can help us by:
- Signing the joint letter (Communia – Joint Letter – Educators ask for a better copyright) in which educators ask for a better copyright on behalf of your institution. You can do so by sending your official organisation logo before 11 January 2018 via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sharing your experience of copyright by filling in this form. EUROCLIO and its partners will use these answers to inform Members of Parliament how copyright is affecting educators in practice, and what therefore needs to change.
Thank you very much for your help!
Early next year, the Legal Affairs (JURI) Committee of the European Commission will vote on a new directive concerning the use of copyrighted materials for educational purposes across the EU. The directive, in theory, aims to expand upon existing exemptions from copyright legislation in education at an EU level. While this sounds desirable, in reality the directive falls short of this goal, and contains numerous caveats that would in fact hinder the continuous development of high quality, cross-border educational resources. In response to this, EUROCLIO, in partnership with COMMUNIA and the Lifelong Learning Platform, amongst others, are advocating for the development of a more open and effective copyright framework that would allow educators the freedom to fully take advantage of the technologies available to them, thus making high quality education more accessible for all.
Representatives from EUROCLIO and a variety of other institutions including COMMUNIA, Wikimedia, and SPARC Europe, met at the offices of the Lifelong Learning Platform in Brussels in November to strategise and streamline these advocacy efforts for better copyright in education. As it stands, the directive would serve to allow for the sharing of copyrighted materials for educative purposes, but only under certain circumstances that we believe to be inadequate for the modern teaching and learning environment, and the meeting provided a space to articulate the most pressing of these concerns.
The meeting arrived at the identification of the following primary concerns with the current directive:
- Limited scope and clarity of the exception: in order for the exception to be effective and beneficial in a practical learning environment, it needs to apply across the board, and make clear to educators what they can and cannot do. Currently, the directive does not do this. Instead, it allows for the exception to be overturned by certain licenses, and essentially provides an “exception to the exception”, maintaining an unclear and fragmented system that would not allow educators the freedom needed to deliver high quality education in a digital world.
- Exclusion of key educational stakeholders: The exception remains limited to “formal” education institutions, meaning that professionals from museums, libraries, civil society organisations, and other organisations providing “non-formal” and “informal” education, would still be limited in what materials they can use. This would be harmful to the development of adult education and the work of those providing useful workshops in the voluntary sector, for example.
- Closed Networks: Under the current directive, the exemption to copyright legislation would only apply within the boundaries of formal education institutions, including online materials (so, materials could only be shared through an internal network). This is unrealistic in the 21st century, where education takes place in a multitude of locations, and across many different platforms. With technology that allows for EU-wide accessibility to high-quality education, it is detrimental and illogical not to take advantage of this and to restrict the sharing of materials to an internal process.
The issue was highlighted further by EUROCLIO Deputy Director Steven Stegers when collecting the award for Best Practice in Education and Innovation Pedagogy for Historiana‘s eLearning Environment at Lifelong Learning Week, as the current directive would seriously impact the efficacy and quality of the Historiana platform, and received further support from various people present at the awards.
Follow @EUROCLIO on Twitter and Facebook for continued updates and calls for further input on this issue, as well as the Lifelong Learning Platform, who will be coordinating a taskforce on the issue.
Historiana was recognised as the “Best Practice In Education and Innovation Pedagogy” at a ceremony in the House of European History on Tuesday, as part of the Lifelong Learning Week in Brussels, organised by the Lifelong Learning Platform and the European Youth Forum. The overarching theme of the week is “Education in a Digital World”, with seminars on issues such as the potential for using Smartphones in the classroom, and how to make learning inclusive and accessible for all in the digital age.
The award was presented by Indre Vareikyte of the European Economic and Social Committee, who was very enthusiastic about the platform and its ability to make history education more accessible across Europe. EUROCLIO Programme Director Steven Stegers was in Brussels to collect the award, and used the opportunity to draw attention to EUROCLIO’s push – with COMMUNIA and the Lifelong Learning Platform itself – for copyright reform in the EU, in response to a directive that – in its current form – has the potential to limit the ability of educators to produce and share learning materials in a trans-national context, thus severely impacting the efficacy and future development of Historiana.
This year’s annual conference of the Lifelong Learning Platform took place in Tallinn, Estonia, on 31 May and 1 June. International speakers from the academic world, EU institutions and civil society organisations participated in the debate, which focused on education in a digital world. The key question of the conference was: “Is digitalisation of education ultimately reducing inequalities?”
EUROCLIO’s Programme Director Steven Stegers participated in the conference and gave a presentation on gaming and learning, in which he addressed that history is not only taught in the classroom but in a variety of places. He showed some striking examples of influential games that offer young people images of historical settings, and told about the use of educational games. These games exist in the form of board, card and video games, and are specifically designed to teach people about a certain subject, to expand concepts, understand a historical event, or assist them in learning a skill as they play.
Right after the annual conference, the general assembly of the Lifelong Learning Platform was held at Tallinn University. A fruitful discussion was held among members about the general direction of the platform. New members were welcomed, and three new Steering Committee members were elected. Among the re-elected Steering Committee members was EUROCLIO’s very own Ambassador Mare Oja.
Find out more on the annual conference and the general assembly of the Lifelong Learning Platform.
The Lifelong Learning Platform organises the 6th Lifelong Learning Week on 10-13 October in Brussels.
The three strands of the Lifelong Learning Week this year are: Learning to Live Together, 21st Century Skills and Flexible Learning Pathways, and activities and events will reflect these themes. In addition, this year marks the launch of the Lifelong Learning Awards, celebrating inclusive and creative initiatives from all over Europe. The aim of the Lifelong Learning week is to bring together learners and educators, field workers and policy-makers, thinkers and political representatives and give them the platform to discuss today’s greatest educational challenges.
The Lifelong Learning Platform (LLLP) will be holding its 6th Lifelong Learning Week (LLLWeek) from 10th October to 13th October 2016 in Brussels. The LLLWeek will this year be held in partnership with the European Youth Forum (YFJ).
Activities and events will be organised around the three strands of the LLLWeek: Learning to Live Together, 21st Century Skills and Flexible Learning Pathways.
The deadline for applications is September 25th 2016 (included). Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. The selection results will be announced as from 1st October 2016.
Sign up by filling in this form.
After serving on the Lifelong Learning Platform Steering Committee since 2010, and for three years in the capacity of Secretary-General, Joke van der Leeuw-Roord has completed this term with a high amount of dedication and commitment.
For EUROCLIO this volunteership has been instrumental at keeping in good check with the development of education policies in Brussels, with a special note to the efforts Joke has made, with the LLLPlatform colleagues at securing visibility and sustainability for education in the European agenda. Education policy shifts have been many over this turbulent period, the EUROCLIO Board, Staff and Community can only thank her for all the time and energy invested.
EUROCLIO Ambassador Mare Oja has successfully been voted into the Steering Committee of the Lifelong Learning Platform. At the LLLP General Assembly in Bratislava she was voted in. Given her experience and expertise in history education from both a practice as well as policy point of view, as well as her good contacts in Estonia and wider in Europe, EUROCLIO is confident she will be very well capable at representing EUROCLIO in this important European platform, as well as serve the needs of this platform, which represent all dimensions of lifelong learning. Certainly, history education has a role to play. We would like to thank Mare in advance for the time and energy she will invest in this volunteership.
This year the Lifelong Learning Platform has chosen the beautiful city Bratislava, Slovakia to be hosting their Annual Conference. “Imagining the learning community of tomorrow” will address questions about the future of learning and what the role of education will be in an ever changing society. The conference includes multiple workshops and even a visit to a Training Centre or School in Bratislava.
For more information check the conference website or register here.
This year the Lifelong Learning Platform has chosen the beautiful city Bratislava, Slovakia to be hosting their Annual Conference. Imagining the learning community of tomorrow will address questions about the future of learning and what the role of education will be in an ever changing society. The conference includes multiple workshops and even a visit to a Training Centre or School in Bratislava!
For more information or to register check the conference website.
In March 2015 the EU Ministers of Education issued their Paris Declaration on Education for fundamental values of tolerance, non-discrimination and inclusion. EUROCLIO responded during the Annual Conference in Denmark in April, and issued its own Helsingor Declaration (available in .pdf below). Throughout September-December, EUROCLIO members and ambassadors had been active in discussions with members of the European Parliament and other EU officials to promote the role of history education, as identified in the Helsingor Declaration. The European Commission Directorate General for Education and Culture (DG EAC) seeks to effectively implement the recommendations of the Paris Declaration and on 15th December, EUROCLIO Founder and Special Advisor Joke van der Leeuw-Roord was invited to participate in a dedicated session to map the next steps as well as long-term planning on these themes. The meeting collected a range civil society organisations, many of whom members of the Lifelong Learning Platform, who shared their views and plans. In early 2016, DG EAC will publish its action plans in this field.