Copyright wars and learning objects

Rory McGreal (Athabasca University ‐ Canada’s Open University, 1 University Drive, Athabasca, Alberta T9S 3A3, Canada)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Publication date: 31 August 2005


Learning object developers need to understand that presently there are powerful organizations of “intellectual property” owners, and vendors of music, videos, books and software that are making a concerted attack on copyright, attempting to convert it from a law to promote knowledge and the useful arts into a mechanism to protect and serve their special interests. This paper represents an attempt to overturn the misconception that copyright is simply about protecting the rights of authors and re‐introduce an understanding of the original foundational role of copyright in “promoting science and the useful arts” and inform U.S. and international readers of the concerted assault on our “fair use” copy rights as educators in the digital environment. The paper argues for the need to put an end to the “quasicopyright” laws that have severely curtailed the traditional rights of educational institutions and passed on responsibilities that previously were the purview of the copyright owners. It calls for a restoration of the balance returning copyright to its original educational focus.



McGreal, R. (2005), "Copyright wars and learning objects", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 141-153.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.