Distance education and Intellectual Property.
Why do they need to come together?
We are living in a context in which we need to think about the reasons why intellectual property and distance education (DE) need to come together. On March 18, 2020, the Ministry of Education authorized the replacement of on-site classes with distance education to prevent the transmission of coronavirus in educational institutions. Since then, students have been using videos to watch classes online.
Here, we propose a reflection on the increase in distance education in Brazil and what aspects education services need to be aware of with regard to the intellectual property of the materials and means offered to students.
Despite the mandatory distance education due to the pandemic, Brazil has already registered an increase in the search for distance education programs. According to the 2018 Higher Education Census, conducted by the National Institute of Educational Studies and Research Anísio Teixeira (Inep), Brazil registered 7.1 million DE places and 6.3 million in on-site programs. In the same study, 40% of those entering higher education programs opted for distance education.
This choice can be justified by the convenience, flexible hours, cheaper tuition and time savings that students have with distance education.
Distance education and Intellectual Property
Even with the DE growth and the technologies with which classes are taught, many institutions were caught by surprises in the pandemic, especially those that offer Basic Education.
A survey on distance education policies implemented in the pandemic conducted by the collective Intervozes, with partner organizations, showed that only 15% of education departments do not use digital technologies. Of those who use DE, 10% use their own system, 50% join public and business platforms and 40% benefit exclusively from private applications. The study was carried out in 26 states, the Federal District, and seven Brazilian capital cities (Cuiabá, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and São Paulo).
Distance education classes need a teaching methodology, with lessons adapted to the digital environment, and a platform that houses videos, which is already used by educational institutions that offered distance education programs. However, with the fast advance of the pandemic, schools and colleges that use on-site methodology did not have enough time to structure the classes and, many of them, only filmed the classes and made them available to students.
It is at that moment that it is necessary to pay attention to intellectual property, which guarantees a reward for the author or those responsible for the creation of material produced by the intellect.
Due to the easy sharing of materials through digital means, it is necessary for educational institutions to be aware of the rights they have over material developed for students, as well as the platforms through which they circulate. Thus, distance education and intellectual property need to come together, since the trend is for DE to grow even more in the country.