Copyleft for Crisis
Following the lead of content owners like J.K. Rowling and Zoom who have lifted certain copyright and access restrictions to help engage students and connect people during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, now even major publishers are following suit and temporarily relaxing certain copyright rules and allowing more online book readings.
Teachers, librarians, and parents are enthusiastic about this news because the easing of the restrictions gives free access to all learners during their homebound days. Digital storytimes have become widely available and publishers and nonprofits are giving away free e-book and audiobook links to eager readers and listeners. The copyright restrictions will most likely be reinstated at the end of the 2020 school year.
Though we are heartened about this opportunity during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, creators and consumers interested in open access to creative and artistic content can always find valuable resources at sites including the Internet Archive and Creative Commons, organizations dedicated to expanding knowledge and culture, where less restricted content has been available for decades. The Moskowitz Firm continues to support these nonprofits, as well as local libraries which have been actively sharing valuable content, even with closed doors.