Since its founding in 1978, Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) has strived to create platforms that successfully support copyright compliance for both the publishers and users of content. In March, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent distance learning programs launched at K–12 schools and colleges and universities—and now, with the current U.S. school year seeing many institutions implementing at least a partial virtual component—CCC has stepped up to create compliance solutions geared to the use and reuse of content that is part of remote and online education.
Education Continuity License
In March, CCC introduced the Education Continuity License, which enabled the use of copyrighted materials in distance learning and other models as long as the materials were legally acquired. CCC did not charge for the service, and publishers were asked to participate at no cost. Around the time of the launch, more than 50 publishers—including the American Medical Association, Atlantic Media, Bloomberg, Emerald Group, Forbes, Gannett, Hachette Book Group, and National Geographic Society Journals—had agreed to include their content. Although the license is no longer active, CCC launched a webpage for learning-at-home resources that has been updated throughout the summer.
Partnership With EL Education
In September, CCC teamed up with EL Education to allow schools and districts that have adopted the EL Education Language Arts Curriculum to get permission to use grade-level texts for distance learning. According to its website, EL Education was founded in 1992 by the Harvard Graduate School of Education in partnership with Outward Bound USA “based on the belief that learning and achievement flourish when students are engaged in work that is challenging and meaningful.” Its “approach to curriculum makes standards come alive for students by connecting learning to real world issues and needs. Academically rigorous, project-based learning expeditions, case studies, projects, fieldwork, and service learning inspire students to think and work as professionals, contributing high-quality work to authentic audiences beyond the classroom. Our schools ensure that all students have access to a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, and regularly analyze that curriculum to align with those standards.”
CCC, in combination with EL Learning and participating publishers, including Boyds Mills & Kane, Holiday House, and Kids Can Press, will now offer a single-source license for all of the content provided by these entities. Emily Sheahan, CCC’s VP and managing director, describes this initiative as follows: “The pandemic has highlighted the need for schools and districts to give students flexible access to books and other course content. With so many schools offering a hybrid in-school/at-home model or an all-online program, we’re pleased to partner with EL Education for flexible, cost-effective licensing solutions that help ensure students have access to high-quality texts.”
Scott Hartl, EL Education’s president and CEO, says in a news item about the partnership, “COVID-19 has increased the need to simplify online access to book content for both students and teachers as we all face a 2020-2021 school year with so many uncertainties. By collaborating with CCC and leading publishers, we can empower educators to continue the joyful learning that comes with our curriculum and the books that it relies on—regardless of whether students are back in the classroom or learning from home.”
Virtual Town Hall
CCC is hosting a virtual town hall meeting on Sept. 29 at 10:00 a.m. EDT (register before then here; a recording will be available after it concludes) that brings together publishers and education solution providers to discuss ways to address digital learning and the changes required to support a mix of in-person, remote, and hybrid learning. Sheahan reinforces the challenges faced by schools, stating in the press release for the meeting, “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is widespread, but is especially crippling to the academic community. Schools are struggling with exactly how to begin the new academic year given conflicting pressure from scientists, government, community leaders, families, staff, unions, faculty and students. They need flexible, creative solutions that allow students, families and teachers to adapt to changing requirements with minimal interruption to the learning experience.”
Industry leaders participating in the town hall include the following:
- Nancy Janes, global publishing and brand solutions business director at HP
- Karthik Krishnan, CEO of Britannica Group
- Beth Miller, chief knowledge officer at EL Education