eduright Here’s something interesting about the FCC National Broadband Plan, which I’ve mentioned here a couple of times in recent days: it has quite a few provisions that are only orthogonally related to broadband, and a number of them have to do with copyright.

For example, the Plan suggests adoption of a new voluntary permissive copyright license, administered by the government, to permit educational digital use—even including a mock-up of a new copyright symbol to be used with the program (see left).

While a number of educational uses are already permitted under fair use, fair use is a defense rather than an affirmative right which means educators still run the risk of being sued. This new license would work like Creative Commons, in that rights holders would have to choose to use it. (I wonder how many actually would?)

There are a number of other copyright-related matters discussed in the National Broadband Plan document as well. For example:

Other copyright suggestions include "a statutory framework to facilitate identification of copyright holders and securing of permissions in an efficient and cost-effective way" so that teachers can, for instance, "use Beatles lyrics to promote literacy, employing music as a cultural bridge" without paying the "$3,000 licensing fee charged by the rights holders."

It suggests amending the Copyright Act to make such uses feasible.

I rather doubt that these proposed copyright reforms will get very far, but it is at least good to see some people are thinking about them.


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