Access to Digital Education in the Time of COVID-19: Copyright and Public Health Emergencies

Jun. 9, 2021 | 9:00am - 10:00am EDT

RightsCon Panel cohosted by PIJIP and Wikimedia Germany

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Over the last year, we have witnessed the impact of inadequate copyright rules on access to and use of educational materials in digital settings. With schools, libraries, and museums forced into closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our education and research systems had to adapt to an online environment practically overnight. From the point of view of educators and researchers, their work has remained unchanged. They are performing online activities that are equivalent to those conducted in the analogue setting. However, from a legal perspective, these activities are not identical, which creates barriers for the provision of these essential services.

This panel will feature four expert speakers who will shed light on this issue from a variety of backgrounds and with different regional foci. We will also discuss how new legal instruments at the international level could solve these problems and facilitate access to knowledge.

Host institutions: Wikimedia Germany; Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property 


  • Sean Flynn, Director, American University Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property
  • Justus Dreyling, Project Manager International Regulation, Wikimedia Germany
  • Dick Kawooya, Assistant Director, School of Information Science, University of South Carolina
  • Teresa Nobre, Vice-President, Communia
  • Amalia Toledo, Tech, Law and Policy Fellow, Wikimedia Foundation
  • Robert Jeyakumar, Assistant Secretary General, Malaysian Academic Movement