Publishers Sign Onto a Coronavirus ‘Education Continuity License’

In News by Porter Anderson

Within days, CCC’s new education continuity license for special use of copyrighted content during the coronavirus lockdown has been agreed to by more than 40 publishers.

Image – iStockphoto: Demaerre

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

A Viral Mother of Invention
One of the many things you may not think of until a lethal coronavirus rolls across the world is that when normal educational centers must close and try to keep curricula moving by digital means, you may have crossed a copyright line.

Do contracts foresee this? Do rights holders allow the use of their content in settings that may be as different as a classroom and a living room? How can this obvious emergency need be handled legally?

Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), based in Danvers, Massachusetts, has released a statement today announcing what it calls an “education continuity license” intended “to enable creative approaches to remote teaching and distance learning made necessary by the pandemic.”

In its statement, the company says that responsible educators in parts of the United States have asked about their need to use copyrighted content and materials “in innovative new ways to support distance learning.”

In response, CCC says it’s coordinating with rights holders “to authorize the use of their materials at no cost by educators as required by the pandemic during this time of emergency.”

Copyright Clearance Center stipulates that it isn’t delivering educational materials or content to educators. Instead, it’s offering a new license that will authorize American school districts, educators, parents, and others to make immediate additional uses of materials that they have previously lawfully acquired (italics ours). CCC also says that it will not collect any fees from this “education continuity license” from any party, nor will it charge for its own services in administering the contract.

This new authorization is to run through mid-summer. At that point, CCC and the rights holders involved can evaluate the situation and what need there may be for an extension.

Tracey Armstrong

And in a prepared statement, Copyright Clearance Center CEO Tracey Armstrong is quoted, saying, “I’m incredibly impressed by the innovation and creativity demonstrated by teachers, educators, and publishers during this time of crisis.

“This license provides an added measure of support requested by talented education professionals, and we’re happy to contribute in this crisis by bringing these creative licenses, offered by a growing number of publishers, to educators who need them most.”

Forty Publishers and Counting

Image – iStockphoto: Sneksy

The company has posted a form here for the use of educators who want to check which publishers are participating. There, educators can record their use of lawfully acquired copyrighted materials in terms of whether the content is to be posted online, read aloud, recorded, and so on.

As Publishing Perspectives has reported, CCC is maintaining a list of learning-at-home resources being made available, in very many cases without charge, to educators as well as families in recognition of the disruption being imposed on current school terms in many parts of the world.

Meanwhile, CCC itself continues to provide its services, while taking care to provide protection to its people. In a statement on the matter, the company says, in part, that it has “taken prophylactic steps to mitigate risk of infection and to provision for continuous, uninterrupted service.

“It placed restrictions on all business travel and has enabled employees to work from home. CCC employees are prepared to work from home for an extended period without compromising established security protocols or impacting productivity.”

And on this page, you can see the updating list of publishers who are authorizing the use of their copyrighted content on the new education continuity license in distance learning models and other uses “as required by the pandemic, at no cost to the user, during this time of emergency.”

As of this writing, those publishers are:

  • Access Intelligence
  • ACM (Association for Computing Machinery)
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Association of Critical Care Nurses
  • American Diabetes Association
  • American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA)
  • American Medical Association
  • American Society of Hematology
  • American Society of Nephrology
  • Andrews McMeel Universal
  • Atlantic Media, Inc.
  • Bearport Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Bioscientifica Limited
  • Bloomberg L.P.
  • BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
  • Boyds Mills Kane Press
  • Charlesbridge Publishers
  • Coffee House Press
  • Conde Nast Publications
  • EDP Sciences
  • Emerald Group Publishing Limited
  • European Respiratory Society
  • Forbes Media
  • Future Medicine Ltd.
  • Future Science Ltd.
  • Gannett Company Inc.
  • Hachette Books Inc.
  • History Today
  • Human Kinetics, Inc.
  • Inside Washington Publishers
  • International Association for Food Protection
  • IOS Press B.V.
  • Mansueto Ventures LLC
  • Mary Ann Liebert Inc.
  • Microbiology Society
  • National Academy of Sciences/Proceedings
  • National Geographic Society – Journals
  • National Public Radio
  • Newlands Press Ltd.
  • Newstex, LLC
  • Nomad Press
  • Normans Media, Ltd.
  • OECD
  • Rourke Publishing LLC
  • Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Simplify Compliance LLC
  • Skipping Stones  
  • Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
  • Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM)
  • SyndiGate Media Inc.
  • The National Academies Press
  • University of California Press – Books
  • University of California Press – Journals
  • World Book Publishing

A sign at a school in Kirkland, a suburb of Seattle in which one of the first US clusters of coronavirus infections was detected. Most specialists say that schools closed in the COVID-19 crisis in the United States are not likely to reopen during this school year. Image – iStockphoto: Colleen Michaels

More from Publishing Perspectives the coronavirus outbreak is here. More from us on international issues in copyright is here.

Download your free copy of our Spring Magazine here

In our Spring 2020 Magazine, Publishing Perspectives has interviewed publishers, industry experts, entrepreneurs, and authors to present a look at the book business for the coming year. Inside this issue of Publishing Perspectives Magazine, you’ll find articles and resources including:

  • Publishing and the coronavirus
  • Richard Charkin’s view of key industry challenges
  • China’s growing comic book market
  • Brussels Book Fair debuts its rights center
  • Eksmo CEO Evgeny Kapyev on Russia’s book market
  • Matchmaking for publishers and producers in Latin America
  • Book market data
  • A world tour of copyright developments
  • Translation sales resulting from Norway’s Frankfurter Buchmesse guest of honor program
  • An AI startup creating interactive stories
  • An interview with author Andrew Keen

Download ‘Publishing in Times of Crisis’ free of charge here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.