Safeguarding Online Learning Modules From Piracy

When considering copyright protection, it is important to remember that the material you are protecting is your original creation. So it is crucial to determine the right way to protect your work.

While there are many ways to protect works of art and creative works, including traditional copyright licenses, other more advanced copyright protection methods exist.

Understanding Copyright

It is necessary to understand the difference between short-term licensing and long-term licensing.

Short-Term Licensing

The short-term licensing for e-learning materials & online learning & training courses is typically a one-time license for the rights to sell, deliver, rent, lend, distribute, sub-license, display and display it online. No user will not be allowed to share, copy, edit or modify it.

Long-Term Licensing

Long-term licensing covers the rights for a single purpose. It is the license for use as a set-and-forget resource. It ensures a user’s right to distribute it on the user’s own and personal computer, mobile phone, tablet, game console or the internet, as long as the e-learning material is not used for any other purpose. The user can add and modify it as long as it will not lead to the infringement of the copyright owner.

For instance, the online learning material you own is protected from unauthorised use of a school for student instruction. Online users may not use the content for commercial purposes other than education. They may not redistribute the content as open source material.

Receiving a Copyright

By granting the rights you mentioned above, you have given the author the exclusive right to use, produce, distribute, display, sub-license, sell and/or sub-license. This means that anyone is not allowed to make any changes, publish, or broadcast – even as you use it for personal learning and experimentation. In addition, the provider can’t start selling the same course material to other customers, using different names or giving additional access rights to customers.

Protecting an e-learning resource

However, if you want to upload the course to a platform such as an e-learning platform or a licensee wants to use your content for a second or third purpose, such as some kind of classroom activity (such as for a homework assignment or test) they should apply for permission from you before doing so.

Digital watermarking 

Digital watermarking becomes a handy tool to protect students’ e-learning materials in the digital environment.

Whenever a student downloads and uses an e-learning course, a unique identifier is assigned to the student. Every time the course is used, it inserts user information to identify the user.

In addition, protection technology also can effectively regulate and monitor the usage of the digital watermark, thereby protecting the integrity and confidentiality of students’ digital materials in any online environment.

Watermarking increases the security of the courses by discouraging students from taking photos or photocopies of content and distributing it.

Creating the digital watermark helps safeguard the rights to use and distribute the content. The digital watermark is created using software that you download onto your device. A digital watermark can be visible and include the user’s name and a date/time stamp, or be invisible and include the hash of the digital file.

Linking integrity

The linking creation and use of a course enable you to check and audit the origin and distribution of each work. You can monitor the usage of the course and immediately detect and correct any copyright or plagiarism issues.

It is advisable to have a link integrity checker that checks the integrity of the connection between the internet and the e-learning system. This will ensure that many problems, including DDoS attacks, will not interrupt the course delivery system. The integrity of the connection should also be monitored after an upgrade of the system. A new network connection should be established with a different Internet Protocol address to ensure the integrity check works properly.


A digital signature and a digital watermark are two different things. A watermark is a digital piece of data that’s been embedded into a course that is identical to other individuals’ copies. In addition, a digital watermark adds a layer of security. For example, an Internet Protocol address is uniquely assigned to each computer connected to the internet. With the creation of digital watermarks, you can have multiple instances of the same address. You can differentiate between each instance without affecting the connection between the network and the server.

One of the simplest ways to protect the copyright of an e-learning course is to digitally watermark the course by embedding several unique identification numbers within the course. This unique number will include the course author’s name, date of birth, and a unique identification number tied to a particular IP address. This ensures that whenever the course is used, the IP address is to be traced back to the owner of the IP address.


DRM systems or Digital Rights Management (DRM), protects copyrighted material through technical protection measures. This protection extends to downloading and using digital content, such as e-books, PDF documents, videos, music and applications. DRM can be used in conjunction with other security mechanisms to ensure that authorised copies can be made and to prevent unauthorised copies from being made.

DRM can be used to protect intellectual property such as books, training courses, documents, music, video and computer games. It provides a framework to restrict the copying of content to protect the IP owners and licensees. The rights offered to licensees concerning DRM are called digital rights management (DRM) licenses.

DRM can potentially improve copyright protection and encourage innovation in digital content as the barriers to learning, exchange and sharing information and cultural heritage are reduced. It helps to protect rights holders and they can benefit from business models that enable new uses of IP. But more importantly, it provides the next generation with the tools and knowledge to protect and control their own rights. In a rapidly digitising world, the threat of IP infringement is widespread. Even minor infringements can have a devastating impact on the recipient.

Using technologies that collect information on IP-using activities, legal organisations can assess whether there are sufficient grounds to bring proceedings. Consequently, more infringement notices can be issued, and greater investment can be made into remediation programmes to help benefit legitimate users. This has the potential to create a better understanding of the importance of intellectual property and protect it.

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