Pedagogical Approaches and Social Issues – Copyright and Distance Education

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The rapid development of information technology and communication has significantly influenced the teaching and learning process in the higher education. A most significant outcome of this development is the explosion of distance learning programs. Distance learning has been defined as that “form of education in which students are separated from their instructors by time and/or space” (U.S. Copyright Office, 1999, para.4).  An important consideration in distance learning is the understanding and application of appropriate copyright laws as it involves the extensive use of multimedia, multiple authors, and wide use of institutional resources.

Copyright is “A form of protection provided by the laws of the United States for original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic, musical, architectural, cartographic, choreographic, pantomimic, pictorial, graphic, sculptural, and audiovisual creations” (U.S. Copyright Office, 1999 para.6). On November 2nd, 2002, the “Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act” (the TEACH Act), was enacted an amendment to the Copyright Act…

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