Wikieducator: Wikieducator is launched in Germany
and Mexico. WikiEducator is a community resource supported by the Commonwealth of Learning for the development of free educational content. Workshops (in English) are being offered by both jurisdictions.
Brazil 1: Brazilian law 8.313, of December, 23 de 1991 (known as Lei Rouanet), which allows public investments and tax exceptions for cultural and educational projects, is under review. Until today – May, 06, 2009 – the bill of law introduced (in Portuguese) in the congress is open to public consultations. Civil society groups and Media and entertainment lobby are running to prepare their opinions. Regarding education, the proposed article 49 is the one that called the most attention. It says – if literally translated into English:
Article 49. The Ministry of Culture and other organs of the Federal Public Administration may have the right to explore the cultural goods and services financed with public resources for non-commercial and non-onerous purposes, after a three-year reservation period of rights of use on the work.
Sole Paragraph.: The use of goods treated in this article, if for educational purposes, and equally non-onerous, shall be given after a reservation period of one year and six months.
The industry position is against this part of the law, while the civil society position tries to expand it by bringing the idea, for example, of the taxpayer’s right to access and use works that received public funds. Academics positioned with groups involved in civil society also propose that no reservation period should be granted to the particular interest of the author, and when the work has any public interest related to it, the possibility of use by the State should be immediately granted. There is also concern regarding the difficult and blurred language of the law. In this area, academics ask for specifications in the public funding grant agreement or instrument, pro public interest. Also, many ask for the expansion of possibility of use not just by federal authorities, but also by state and municipal authorities. In this sense a municipal public school could use a documentary film without specific authorization from the copyright holder, since the law establishes this license in advance and as a condition of the granting instrument.