Video.edu: UCLA Starts Streaming Again, OpenCourseWare Consortium Raises $350,000
Citing the TEACH Act and fair use, UCLA asserts that streaming copyrighted content is a legit educational use, while the OpenCourseWare Consortium gets a boost from universities across the globe
Here's the latest roundup of news from the world of education.
UCLA Resumes Streaming Videos
UCLA is bringing streaming video back to its password-protected course websites. This move comes after the university suspended video streaming in January in response to an accusation by the Association for Information and Media Equipment that UCLA was violating copyright law. In a press release dated March 3 the university now calls the suspension a “good-faith gesture” while it negotiated with AIME.
After investigating the issue campus officials say they believe that both the TEACH Act and fair use provisions in copyright law permit the streaming of copyrighted works to students. The university also cites court rulings, such as the 1984 Supreme Court Betamax case that authorized the time-shifting of broadcast television using VCRs.
Other schools were watching this case closely because of its potential impact on the use of copyrighted video materials in online instruction. Acknowledging the weight of this responsibility UCLA CIO Jim Davis said, “We're well aware the outcome of this dispute could affect other educational institutions, and it's important that UCLA take a leadership role and demonstrate just how critical the appropriate use of technology is to our educational mission.”
Prior to the decision to resume streaming the university’s Information Technology Planning Board drafted a set of principles guiding the use of streaming video. In these principles the joint faculty-administration committee noted that the streaming suspension, “caused substantial hardship to our educational mission.” Justifying the streaming of copyrighted content, one of the principles states that if it is legal to show a video in a traditional brick-and-mortar classroom then it should be fair use to permit viewing “through time-shifting technologies, in a virtual classroom that restricts access to those same enrolled students.”
In addition to drafting these principles, the university is making a small change in protocol wherein faculty will be asked to specify the educational purpose for streaming video as part of their courses.
It appears more than coincidental that UCLA’s decision comes just weeks after the Library Copyright Alliance released an issue brief defending streaming of films for educational purposes. UCLA’s justifications for its streaming regime appear to closely mirror the LCL’s arguments for the legality of streaming partial or entire films from secure course website without obtaining permission or licenses.
Administrators, faculty, and IT staff at schools across the country are likely breathing a sigh of relief that they won’t have to immediately suspend their own streaming video services. However, the respite may be brief. The probability is high that UCLA’s move to resume streaming will provoke a stronger legal response from AIME, possibly landing both parties in court.
Universities Pledge Continued Funding for Open Courseware
Online course materials—including audio and video—from some 200 universities are available for free courtesy of the non-profit OpenCourseWare Consortium. But as grants that fund for the project begin to expire over a dozen of the consortium’s leading universities together have pledged $350,000 over the next five years to continue their work. Universities as diverse as the Delft Unviersity of Technology in the Netherlands, Mexico’s Tecnológico de Monterrey and the University of Michigan each pledged $25,000.
The OpenCourseWare Consortium’s stated mission is to “advance formal and informal learning through the worldwide sharing and use of free, open, high-quality education materials organized as courses.” The most well known OpenCourseware initiative is Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s which makes 1900 courses available for free. Many of these include audio and video lectures available by podcast and in Apple’s iTunes U.
In this new biweekly feature, we'll keep you apprised of the latest developments in education video news. This week: UCLA suspends online video and President Obama's 2011 budget proposes big changes for education technology funding.
Tues., Feb. 9, by Paul Riismandel
In the latest education video news roundup, the Library Copyright Alliance says that streaming films is just fine, while Yale channels Glee for a new admissions video.
Wed., Feb. 24, by Paul Riismandel
Video figures prominently in the Department of Education's National Education Technology Plan, and C-SPAN has created an online video library with 160,000 hours of content.
USC's Stroome online video suite leverages Kaltura for remixing, while at least two universities are blocking some iPads from campus networks