e-Learning Legal Issues

When preparing online training for business or education, there are some e-learning legal issues that one should be aware of. When introducing e-learning into an organisation, it is important to document relevant law and best practice that should be adhered to, in order to protect both trainers and learners.

e-Learning and legal issues

Copyright Law, Intellectual Property / IP and Licensing

Below are some of the most important points regarding these areas of legislation related to e-learning:

• Whether or no a copyright statement exists, original resources are always covered by copyright law. Permission should always be sought before making copies of learning materials, unless it is explicitly given online.

• Using online learning materials for personal study generally constitutes ‘fair use’, unless otherwise stated by the copyright owner. However, making multiple copies or resources is not permitted, unless stated by the intellectual property (IP) owner.

• Original work by students is also covered by copyright law, even when stored electronically or displayed online.

• Employers usually own the copyright for resources produced by their staff in a work context.

• It is good practice to display a copyright statement alongside your e-learning materials to make it clear if they can be copied and if so, in what contexts licensing is offered.

• The download and storage of banks of e-learning resources or entire websites will breach copyright law unless permission is explicitly given.

• When linking to another website, it is often advised to seek permission from the website you plan to link to, especially when linking to a sub-page. When permission has not been sought, many advise linking to the homepage only to avoid representing another party’s website resources in the wrong context. The use of frames when building web pages is now an outdated practice, but to display any pages from another website within a frame within your own is not recommended, as it could be seen as your content.

Other pages of the Law and Legal website:
Employment Solicitors – companies dealing with employment related issues.
Education Law – firms and free advice for education matters.
Insolvency Solicitors – bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings.
Conveyancing Solicitors – domestic or commercial property conveyancing.
Recruitment services are offered by our featured legal employment agencies in the UK.

Legal Services in the Regions of England

Lawyers South West – Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Bristol, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire in the South West.

Lawyers South East – in addition to London, the South East page includes Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey and both East and West Sussex.

Lawyers East of England – Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk in the East of England.

Lawyers West Midlands Region – for the county of West Midlands, plus Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

Lawyers East Midlands – Central England the East Midlands is home to Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire.

Lawyers Yorkshire and the Humber – the counties of North, South, West and East Riding of Yorkshire.

Lawyers North West – Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside in the North West.

Lawyers North East – the counties of the North East are County Durham, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear.

This page is for legal issues to consider for e-learning use and preparation.