An Empirical View of the Extent of the Use of the Education Exception to Copyright


  • Aleksei Kelli
  • Margus Pedaste
  • Äli Leijen



copyright, educational exception, educational institution


The article is based on a study commissioned by the Ministry of Justice entitled ‘Extent of Use of Educational Exceptions of Copyright’. The presumed rationale for this is that holders of rights are not compensated for the use of copyright works and subject matter of related rights under the educational exception. In turn, holders of rights would like to be compensated for such use. Therefore, the results of this study, which reveal what is being used and to what extent, can serve as one of the legal policy inputs for addressing the issue.

The study was based on a survey. When drafting the questionnaire, it had to be taken into account that it was not answered by copyright experts, but by the staff of the educational institution. For this reason, a specific use was asked. The definition of an educational institution was based on subsection 3 (2) of the Republic of Estonia Education Act, according to which educational institutions are above all preschool education institutions, basic schools, upper secondary schools, vocational educational institutions, institutions of professional higher education, universities, hobby schools and continuing education institutions, including the research and methodology institutions which provide services to them.

Depending on the specialty, very old works whose copyright has expired (more than 70 years after the death of the author) may also be used. Mapping the use of such works was not the aim of this study, which was also emphasised in the questionnaire.

This study looked at copyright awareness, form and volume of copying, etc. in relation to literary and reference works, photographs, musical works, and audiovisual works. The authors of the study found that the surveyed works are the most widely used in educational institutions.

The results of the study were further verified through focus group interviews. Further input for the interpretation of the results was also obtained from the copyright training provided to the questionnaire respondents.


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How to Cite

Kelli, A., Pedaste, M., & Leijen, Äli. (2023). An Empirical View of the Extent of the Use of the Education Exception to Copyright. Juridica International, 32, 74–86.