E-commerce, Education and Copyright: A Policy Brief

by Michael Geist

published 13 June 2022 updated 17 June 2024

In the context of the World Trade Organisation’s 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) in Geneva on 12-15 June 2022, Education International calls on governments to deliver a comprehensive intellectual property waiver on Covid-19 vaccines, treatments and tests and warns of the risk of increasing commercialisation of education and research due to concerning e-commerce rules in trade agreements.

In light of the ongoing discussions on e-commerce at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Education International is launching a policy brief on Ecommerce, Education and Copyright, written by Michael Geist.

The brief shows that e-commerce (i.e. online buying and selling of goods and services) opens doors to new, for-profit online educational services that contribute to commercialisation of education and research, undermining fundamental rights to education, privacy and quality terms of employment. This is a wake-up call for education unions to closely monitor and engage in rapidly advancing e-commerce negotiations at the international and national level