The pandemic continues to present many challenges to educators, students, and their families across K-12 schools and institutions of higher education. With the massive shift to remote learning, Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) recognizes this and has responded with some notable initiatives to help address the content and licensing challenges educators and learners continue to face in this new and now familiar reality.

Research and advisory firm, Outsell Inc., recently published an overview and analysis of some of those initiatives CCC has engaged in to help those institutions during this difficult chapter in U.S. history. 

Providing Critical Permissions

One of the key initiatives the Outsell analysis focused on was the introduction of a single-source license, developed by CCC, in coordination with EL Education and participating publishers, covering the reuse of required texts as part of EL Education’s K-8 Language Arts Curriculum. The license provides U.S. schools and districts that have adopted the curriculum with the ability to easily obtain permission to use grade level texts for distance learning during the pandemic.

Outsell notes that the license “provides an example of the flexibility that solution providers will need to offer end-users in these unprecedented times.” 

EL Education’s open educational resource (OER) curriculum for K-8 classrooms reaches nearly 500,000 students. Its curriculum is built around authentic, high-quality texts that give students the opportunity to dig deeply into academic topics and help them make connections between their academic learning and the real world. Access to texts is fundamental to the success of the curriculum and for student learning 

With the license, EL Education customers purchase additional low-cost permissions to reuse the texts on a 1:1 basis for a specific period while students are learning remotely. The texts are available in print format, digital format, or both depending on the resource and the agreement with the publisher.  

You can read the full Outsell Insight, CCC Opens Up New Ways of Working in Response to the Pandemic’s Challenges, here 

Our partnership with EL Education is only the most recent example of our commitment to support the academic community with flexible, creative solutions that allow students, families and teachers to adapt to changing requirements with minimal interruption to the learning experience. 

Meeting the Needs of Remote Learners and Educators   

In March, CCC launched its Education Continuity License to enable creative approaches to remote teaching and distance learning made necessary by the pandemic. The license, which CCC arranged with the applicable copyright holders and was active through August, authorized U.S. school districts, educators, parents, and others to make immediate additional uses of materials they had previously lawfully acquired simply by registering this usage on our website. 

To continue its efforts to help support educators and learners, CCC curates a list of Learning-at-Home resources offered by a variety of educational publishers and content providers. Click here to learn more.  

Providing the Copyright Basics 

In July, we conducted a webinar on custom curriculum creation and copyright with our partner XanEdu Publishing, a custom course materials provider. The shift to distance learning has resulted in many questions about copyright from K-12 teachers, librarians, curriculum directors and others. More than 900 people from across the K-12 spectrum attended the webinar to learn the basics of copyright, gain an understanding of “exclusive rights,” get clarification on how the concept of the public domain” applies to certain materials/works, and variety of other important topics.  You can listen to a recording of the session here.  

Investigating Copyright Licensing Solutions that Work for K-12 

CCC is also investigating the viability of offering an annual license for the reuse of high-quality copyrighted content (e.g., magazine and newspaper articles, book excerpts, web content, etc.) in the EdTech segment of the K-12 market. The license would cover the use of materials in curriculum, lessons, and learning materials prepared for K-12 students and initially be targeted at EdTech and other companies that develop digital curriculum and learning products for the U.S. K-12 market. If you work for an EdTech company or a publisher and would like to participate in CCC’s pilot project in this area, please contact me at

Looking Ahead  

Eventuallyschools will return to their pre-pandemic model of in-person learning. Solutions that were forged to overcome challenges brought on by COVID-19 will likely still find use in new and unique ways.  


Author: Tim Bowen

Tim Bowen is a Senior Director within the Information & Content Solutions Business Unit at CCC. He is responsible for the development, management, and marketing of CCC’s licensing and content services for the K-12 and Higher Ed learning markets. Tim has over 20 years of product management, product marketing, and channels marketing experience. Previously, he worked at Genuity, Cabletron Systems, Digital Equipment Corporation, and Nashua Corporation. He holds a BS in Business Administration from Plymouth State University and an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University.
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