This event has ended. Visit the official site or create your own event on Sched.

Welcome to the Official Schedule for RightsCon Toronto 2018. This year’s program, built by our global community, is our most ambitious one yet. Within the program, you will find 18 thematic tracks to help you navigate our 450+ sessions

Build your own customized RightsCon schedule by logging into Sched (or creating an account), and selecting the sessions that you wish to attend. Be sure to get your ticket to RightsCon first. You can visit rightscon.org for more information. 

To createIf you’ve created a profile with a picture and bio, please allow a few hours for the RightsCon team to merge it with your existing speaker profile. 

Last updated: Version 2.3 (Updated May 15, 2018).

Back To Schedule
Wednesday, May 16 • 14:30 - 15:45
Is illicit sharing the imperative future for educational access?

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Copyright protections continue to be ratcheted up around the world, in service of powerful incumbent rights holders, and to the detriment of users, educators, students, researchers, and the public. With ever higher costs to education, especially regarding the pricing of crucial learning materials like textbooks research articles, how can students get access to the learning materials they need? There has been some important advances in practice and policy around supporting open educational resources, but, at least for the time being, their adoption is limited, due to the pressure from commercial market players, and the slowness of state-level policy changes.

Because of these conditions, students, teachers, and researchers are taking matters into their own hands to get access (and to share) educational materials that were always meant to be distributed widely—were it not for the artificial restrictions placed on them by copyright law. But these communities are putting themselves in the crosshairs of the law when they do so. We see students like Diego Gómez, a scientist from Colombia who for the last three years has been criminally prosecuted for sharing an academic paper online. We get situations where copy shops in India and Uruguay have been threatened to be shut down because their owners were making unsanctioned reproductions of educational materials. And we get the story of Sci-Hub, the rogue repository that offers free access to the majority of scientific research articles around the world—and has had several stinging judgments levied against it.

In our session, we will examine these and other cases, and discuss ideas around improving access to educational materials for the benefit of teaching and learning, and the public interest. We will do this by exploring various opportunities for policy work and advocacy, including law reform (such as educational exceptions to copyright), popular campaigning in defense of students and access to information, and techniques being used to share educational materials openly on the web. An intended outcome is to promote the formation of ongoing digital activists around this issue, including student populations.

avatar for Timothy Vollmer

Timothy Vollmer

Senior Manager, Public Policy, Creative Commons
Right now I work on public policy issues at Creative Commons. I also ride bikes and bake bread.


Wednesday May 16, 2018 14:30 - 15:45 EDT