Distance Learning and Copyright: Is a Solution in Sight?
For at least the past decade, educators have looked toward distance education as a way to create educational opportunities for underserved populations. While some courses have been offered on video for a much longer time, the real promise of distance learning is only now being realized with the development of the Internet and its use for delivering educational courses and programs. The development of the Internet and its use for distance learning--or more accurately, distributed education--likely will mean that even on-campus students may take one or more courses or parts of courses on the Internet. Why is copyright a concern in offering these courses? The copyright law contains substantial roadblocks for distance education, and educational institutions and faculty are now finding that their efforts to provide distance education courses are often hampered by copyright.