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Old 02-03-2013, 12:49 AM
astro is offline
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Taint of creation
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Prince George’s Co. in MD considers copyright policy that takes ownership of students’ work -

Seems kind of nuts - Other than the school admins proposing this thinking there's some monetizing value in lesson plans etc. I don't see what the real world purpose is.

Is this the wave of the future?

The proposal is part of a broader policy the board is reviewing that would provide guidelines for the “use and creation” of materials developed by employees and students. The boards’s staff recommended the policy largely to address the increased use of technology in the classroom.

Board Chair Verjeana M. Jacobs (District 5) said she and Vice Chair Carolyn M. Boston (District 6) attended an Apple presentation and learned how teachers can use apps to create new curricula. The proposal was designed to make it clear who owns teacher-developed curricula created while using apps on iPads that are school property, Jacobs said.

It’s not unusual for a company to hold the rights to an employee’s work, copyright policy experts said. But the Prince George’s policy goes a step further by saying that work created for the school by employees during their own time and using their own materials is the school system’s property.

Kevin Welner, a professor and director of the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder, said the proposal appears to be revenue-driven. There is a growing secondary online market for teacher lesson plans, he said.
Old 02-03-2013, 01:03 AM
Oakminster is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Surefall Glade, Antonica
Posts: 19,065
IP is not my area of practice, but I'm more than a little curious as to what legal authority the school has to claim copyright in student's work. Assuming this is a public school and there are compulsory attendance laws, I think the school may be overreaching.
Old 02-03-2013, 05:42 AM
Jonathan Chance is offline
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I agree. I think the bit about student's creating IP that belongs to the school system is a classic 'throw the net wide' approach to legal definitions. It might get trimmed back ... but then again it might not. Who knows?

There is money in lessons plans, though. I haven't ever seen a government budget that doesn't resent employees not sharing, if you get my drift.
Old 02-03-2013, 04:52 PM
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Note that there is a big difference between student and employee work. I signed away a bunch of IP rights when I got hired at various colleges as a professor. Very typical. (Although most of these forms were so poorly written they were nothing but lawyer food. Guaranteed to suck money out of the school and into the hands of any halfway decent lawyer.) I never produced anything at work or using college computers remotely that I didn't care if I lost my rights.

ElHi student IP is basically untouchable. You can't claim a student's IP without a contract. Underage students can't sign contracts. Can you force parents to sign away rights or the students can't attend school? How on Earth is this supposed to work?

So some students use school equipment to write papers? But not all. They have no right to a student's work they did at home or on their own laptop. How can you tell who did what where? Again, guaranteed to be a method to make lawyers richer. Better to cut your loses and forget about it.

Note that college students are a bit different. No intrinsic right to attend college. Of age to sign contracts. Etc. But still the rules are limited only to stuff provably done on college equipment, etc., for possible financial gain, while employed or in some other official capacity. (Which term papers aren't in practice.)

Note that there is a sort of related IP issue such a policy might really be directed at. Some schools submit student works to sites that check for duplicate work, etc. Some students' families claim that such an upload violates the students' copyrights. "Solution": claim the copyright of the paper from the get-go. Sneaky. And dumb.
Old 02-03-2013, 06:21 PM
Enkel is offline
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Posts: 1,796
Isn't that where that student created a new cancer screening test that has already been proven very effective and was believed to be very easy to commercialize?

Imagine the money that student would loose under this new policy just because he/she (can't remember?) entered their creation in a High School Science Fair.
Old 02-03-2013, 06:26 PM
Enkel is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,796

“It detects an abnormal protein that you find in the blood when you have a pancreatic cancer,” said Dr. Anirban Maitra, professor of Pathology, Oncology and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. “He conceived this idea and I think the fact that he is 15 makes this whole story more remarkable.”

This year, an estimated 43,920 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the United States and approximately 37,390 will die from the disease. Pancreatic cancer has the lowest relative survival rate of all the cancers tracked by both the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute; 94 percent of pancreatic cancer patients will die within five years of diagnosis and 74 percent will die within the first year.


Andraka’s test is 90 percent accurate and less expensive than other tests.
The student is not from the same county as the OP's link, but you can bet that -had Anne Arundel had this policy, it would be worth fighting it in the courts.
Old 02-03-2013, 10:59 PM
Senegoid is offline
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sunny California
Posts: 14,840
This reminds me of that major international shitstorm that Microsoft created back in 2001 or so, when they published terms of service for all their on-line services that basically said words to the effect that "ANY information you transmit on-line, to or through any on-line Microsoft service, belongs to us."

This was widely mocked with the phrase "All your data are belong to us".

A great many ISP operators blacklisted all known Microsoft domains at the time, to protect themselves and their customers from having MS claim anything that may have gotten transmitted through a MS-controlled site or relay, as well as to protest against MS having terms like that.

Apparently, it was really all the work of some overzealous leegul beegul at MS who just got a little bit too full of himself.

MS quickly backed down and re-wrote that section of their TOS.


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