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The eCOLOURS team have co-developed four Learning Objects in Geography, History and Social Science topics (EUgraphy, Timeline, Electoral Systems and Fascism in Europe) and localised five others (Computer Graphics, The Crusades, Healthy Meal, Military Alliances and Waste Separation Game). A multilingual questionaire has been prepared so that these resources can be evaluated by a small focus group of teachers at the start of the new school year (end of August - beginning September 2005).

Analysis of the production diaries maintained by all partners is currently underway and additional feedback from partners on IPR issues has already been obtained.

Initial analysis has identified some key issues particularly in the area of IP and its management. Discussions among project partners have identified different approaches to recognition of industrial property issues such as inventions, trademarks and design. These appear to be have been heavily driven by commercial suppliers' demands and are ad hoc in nature. Cross border co-development and subsequent localisation are also limited because copyright agreements are generally negotiated for the use of learning materials in just one country or region (e.g. Nordic countries) rather than across all Member States.

The project now faces a dilemma in devising a proposal for future development. Clearly significant education and legal structure is needed in the areas of IP in advance of any future projects as well as a universal 'standard' for IPR management. Country by country solutions would add unsustainable additional cost to the development of EU wide resources i.e.

the feasibility would be constrained by the differing legal structures and the current national nature of the IPR environment. So, three main options


1. Select an IPR 'advantaged' country as a base for developing and funding such material.

2. Attempt to manage under the developing (but still country specific) Creative Commons environment.

3. Circumvent the IPR issue by developing a contract law based 'right to use in educational environments in all EU territories' (leaving all IPR rights with the originators) and licensing specific bodies (e.g.

Ministries) within the EU authority to serve national or regional markets.

In order to help assess the feasibility of these options, a further questionnaire was circulated to IPR experts in 26 Ministries of Education at the start of July 2005.

At present, therefore, eCOLOURS is building towards its final project meeting which will take place in Florence on the 8-9 September. During this meeting partners will review what have been the major roadblocks to content co-development and localisation during this feasibility project and make an initial set of recommendations concerning how these can be addressed. The meeting will also consider to what extent a major RTD project in this area could act as a catalyst for the co-operative development/localistion of European educational content.

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