I was interested to see both “Shibboleth” and “Athens” being mentioned in a consultation on extending the educational use exemption for re-playing recordings of broadcast programmes, sound recordings and films. At the moment sections 35 & 36 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 permit recordings to be re-played as part of teaching in an educational establishment provided they “cannot be received by any person situated outside the premises of that establishment”. With on-line learning, that location-based restriction looks distinctly old-fashioned. But rightsholders, reasonably enough, still want some restriction to the scope of the exemption.
The Intellectual Property Office, thank goodness, have resisted writing particular technologies into law, so their draft Statutory Instrument (an Annex to the consultation document) suggests instead that the re-playing must be “for the educational purposes of the establishment” and that “all reasonable steps [must be] taken to secure that only authorised persons are able to receive the communication”. Given the considerable effort that the UK education community has put into getting on-line access management right, it’s nice to see it being recognised as fit for that purpose.