Under US law, Copyright is enshrined as part of the First Amendment on Free Speech. Its express purpose is “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts” (United States Constitution, Article I, Section 8). The onus throughout the law is therefore on the use of copyright to facilitate the artist’s communication to the audience and its use to promote learning (Patry 2009 p.12).
E.U. law directs exceptions to be permitted for the purpose of education, which is enacted in U.K law under a permitted acts section of the C.D.P.A. (Great Britain, 1988, para. 28-43; THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND COUNCIL, 2001, para. 14, 42). This makes provision for a series of actions that can take place without the permission of the copyright holder.
While there are exceptions to allowing copying for educational purposes, E.U. and U.K. anti circumvention law still apply, making it illegal to make a non-infringing copy if it is copy protected. In the U.S., as of July 2010, the DMCA has been amended to allow circumvention to be used for fair use in education, Documentary Film making and non-commercial videos (U.S.C.O. 2010). It remains to be seen if we will follow the US example, but since education is not enshrined within our copyright laws to the same extent, it would seem unlikely.