Copyright claim on Teachers, Students
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Thread: Copyright claim on Teachers, Students

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    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    Default Copyright claim on Teachers, Students

    Should the Board of Education be able to claim a copyright to anything created by a teacher or student?


    A proposal recently floated by the Prince George's County Board of Education would give them the copyright to anything created by teachers, students and employees before, during and after school hours.

    A child's project, but also an online app or lesson plan a teacher creates, could be fair game.

    According to a draft of the proposal obtained by FoxNews.com, "Works created by employees and/or students specifically for use by the Prince George's County Public School or a specific school or department within PGCPS, are properties of the Board of Education even if created on the employee's or student's time and with use of their materials."

    The draft policy prompted a backlash from teachers and education activists -- causing the board to put the policy on hold pending a more thorough legal review.

    As written, though, the policy could include anything published on the school's website, curriculum documents, instructional materials, platforms and software developed for use by the school system, as well as a broad-reaching "other works created for classroom use and instruction" category.
    Full article: Maryland proposal to claim copyright on students' work prompts backlash, legal review | Fox News
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    I'm not on board with this for students at all. What a way to stifle creativity.

    Teachers...unsure...I would like those current teachers here to weigh in to feel more comfortable with my thoughts on that.

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    I think I would need to learn more about this to be sure, but my first instinct is to say how terrible and that it is an awful policy.

    ~Bonita~

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    Can't see any way this would ever fly legally.

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    Mega Poster mom3girls's Avatar
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    I create a lot of material that I use in class. I also use stuff my fellow teachers create, and tweak it to make it more effective with my class (there is a site called teachers pay teachers that is awesome) I do not believe that the school board has legal ground to copyright stuff the teachers make, but if it is made on school computers there may be a case that at least could have some legal precedent?

    Not sure any case could be made for copyrighting students work?

    BTW, I only teach little ones right now (4 and 5) so the stuff I do is limited. Dh makes almost 25% of all materials he uses in his classes
    Lisa
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    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    "Works created by employees and/or students specifically for use by the Prince George's County Public School or a specific school or department within PGCPS, are properties of the Board of Education even if created on the employee's or student's time and with use of their materials."
    So according to this if a teacher creates a lesson plan on their own time with their own materials and uses it at school then suddenly the school owns it? What if an art teacher creates a sculpture and brings it to school to show her students an example of what she wants them to do, then that would belong to the school too? I don't see how they would have the right to do that.
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    Prolific Poster ftmom's Avatar
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    I dont agree with this at all. In my experience almost all teachers are very happy to share what they have created with other teachers, but it shouldnt be owned by the district. Wouldnt that give the district the ability to 'sell' what a teacher has created? That just seems wrong.
    Kyla
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    Online Community Director MissyJ's Avatar
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    I know that many companies now have similar policies to material(s) created -- while on company time or working on behalf of the company, which is where a lot of sticky legal challenges tend to come into play in trying to interpret whether creations on an employee's time related to the same genre as their employer become the property of the employer or are retained by employee. Many companies tend to use the premise that if the creation is used in the course of actually doing their job *or* using company resources it belongs to the company. Outside of that, it would fall to the employee.

    I don't know if this is, in any format, a part of teacher contracts. I do believe that it will stifle their willingness to be creative to better engage their students and solely use materials provided by the school district alone (or it would my own!) I know a few teachers that supplement their income, (most likely sparingly), by Teachers Pay Teachers. Many more post them on other lesson plan sites for free to share, exchange, and support one another.

    My experience is that teachers tend to supplement their classroom and student needs with their own money. Outside of the one teacher that made the news by selling $700,000 of lesson plans, I think they should get a pass for those created outside of school and without using school equipment (i.e. on a personal computer for example.) Those created during school hours, on school property, or using school computers, etc. should be considered the school's.

    Students copyright being swept into that -- no.
    bunnyfufu and Danifo like this.

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    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissyJ View Post
    I think they should get a pass for those created outside of school and without using school equipment (i.e. on a personal computer for example.) Those created during school hours, on school property, or using school computers, etc. should be considered the school's.
    I agree with this.
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    This is ridiculous! Quite a few teachers develop books that are ultimately published. Are we really saying that they need to develop a book over the summer but not use any of the components in the process until they can copyright it? Because then the intent would be publish rather than use the material in the classroom. Some teachers have made successful careers out of developing, for lack of a better word, stuff. Software, test generators, novels, etc. How about Ron Clark and The Freedom Writers Diary?

    At universities, professors are often expected to publish. Does that mean the copyright isn't theirs? The what would be the point?

    As for students: Oh HELL no! Students at all levels write the most wonderful poetry, stories, and musical arrangements. I can't imagine trying to take their ability to make money from their early works.

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