The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Intellectual Property Rights in Digitally Based Education

Maria Markova, University of National and World Economy (Bulgaria)


The purpose of this paper is to consider the academic lecture as an object of IPR in the context of digitally based higher education. We focus on the lecture as an object of copyright protection and the problems faced to IPR in digitally based forms of teaching and training students. According to the regulations at the national level and international level the main normative acts regulating the protection of works of science, literature and arts is the Copyright and Related Rights Act, 1993, repeatedly updated and Bern Convention for a protection of works of literature and arts, 1886. The academic lecture is an indisputable creative product of the lecturer, in which he presents his ideological, scientific and methodological views, his/her practical experience and generalizations on a certain scientific or scientifically applied problem. Regardless of the form in which it exists – as a research product, materialized or not in a specific holder - on paper, on a CD or other, in the form of an article, monograph, study or other type of research result, as such a creative product the academic lecture is considered as an object of Copyright. In particular, based on the classification of copyright objects according to the Law on Copyright and Related Rights, the academic lecture is a type of literary work. In the conditions of digitally based education, each lecture is presented in a digital hall – online room, with a simultaneous speech, examples and discussion. In parallel the lecturer provides the lecture to his students as a word file, PPP or other.

In the context of digitally teaching and training, along with conventional copyright on a lecture, a number of other issues arises in the field of IPRs such as following:

1. Which is the student audience - the "audience" in the sense of Copyright regulations?

2. Whether the lecture is used by the students only for the purposes of education or the lecture is distributed in the digital space without the consent of its author?

3. Is there a kind of extension of "free use", in this case academic use by students for preparation to exam, acquisition of knowledge and skills during this academic course?

4. Is the lecture subsequently reproduced through various distribution channels, without the explicit consent of its author?

The author’s points of view to these questions will be given by referring to the legal framework, wide academic experience and good practices in higher education.

Keywords: IP rights, teaching, training, digitally based higher education.

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