[A2k] Erica Perez: Do Students Have Copyright to Their Own Notes?

Luis innovartecorporacion at gmail.com
Mon Feb 6 09:39:50 PST 2012


In Chile there is a express provisión in our copyright law that permits students to take notes in a class but prohibiits to publish such notes.

Enviado desde mi iPhone

El 06-02-2012, a las 14:03, Manon Ress <manon.ress at keionline.org> escribió:

> February 6, 2012 | 7:00 AM | By Tina Barseghian
> 
> Do Students Have Copyright to Their Own Notes?
> http://mindshift.kqed.org/2012/02/do-students-have-copyright-to-their-own-notes/
> 
> By Erica Perez, California Watch
> 
> California State University and University of California campuses are
> taking new steps to limit what students can do with their class notes:
> At least one CSU Chico student recently was reported to judicial
> affairs for selling notes to a website, while a newly updated UC
> Berkeley policy restricts how students share their notes with others.
> 
> The policies raise questions about whether instructors or students
> have copyrights to the notes students take in class. While the
> California Education Code prohibits students and others from selling
> class notes – and many campuses have policies that also ban
> unauthorized note-selling – critics say students, not instructors, own
> the copyright to their own notes.
> 
> Some university officials say faculty members have the right to
> protect their professional reputation – they don’t want inaccurate or
> low-quality notes to be attributed to them. But others say the
> university policies are restricting students’ free speech.
> 
> “Given the amount of money students are paying to go to school right
> now, to … confront them with these policies and say, ‘You don’t even
> have the right to use your own notes any way you want,’ seems to be
> the wrong message to be sending,” said Jason M. Schultz, assistant
> clinical professor of law at UC Berkeley and director of the
> university’s Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic.
> 
> The CSU and UC systems have made efforts to shut down private
> note-selling websites for some time. As early as 1999, the
> note-selling website Versity.com sparked officials’ furor at UC
> Berkeley. In fall 2010, CSU sent a cease-and-desist order to
> NoteUtopia, which allows students to upload course notes, study guides
> and outlines to a website, then set a price and earn cash for their
> work.
> “There’s a First Amendment issue as well. If I take notes in class,
> and I want to share them, that’s speech.”
> 
> More recently, both UC and CSU have sent cease-and-desist letters to
> Notehall, a note-selling website owned by Santa Clara-based Chegg.
> 
> CSU sent its letter to Chegg in January after at least one student was
> reported to student judicial affairs for selling notes through the
> service. CSU Chico’s student newspaper, The Orion, reported that two
> students were referred to judicial affairs, but Lisa Root, the
> university’s director of student judicial affairs, said there has been
> only one case involving the note-selling policy in the past three
> years. She could not comment on the specific case. The one student
> named in the Orion story declined to talk to a reporter Wednesday.
> 
> It’s unclear whether the student was sanctioned or whether other
> universities in California have sought disciplinary action against
> students who have sold their notes to third parties.
> 
> The letter from CSU to Chegg cited CSU’s own student policies and the
> California Education Code, both of which prohibit selling,
> distributing or publishing class notes for a commercial purpose.
> 
> Notehall’s website indicates the company is no longer accepting notes
> from CSU or UC students. Users who try to upload notes for CSU or UC
> campuses see an error message.
> 
> “Unfortunately, No More Notes!” the message begins. “The California
> State University Student Conduct Code prohibits students from selling
> class notes, and subjects violators to potential disciplinary action.
> Out of respect for this policy, Notehall does not offer its note
> taking services at your school. We apologize for the inconvenience,
> and share your disappointment with this CSU policy decision.”
> 
> In a written statement, a spokeswoman for Chegg said the company is
> fully compliant with California law and is “working to ensure that our
> services fall within what is acceptable from one state to the next.”
> 
> But Berkeley’s Schultz questioned whether states can prevent students
> from selling their notes. Instructors have almost no intellectual
> property rights to what students write down in class, he said. Faculty
> members may have intellectual property in the books they write,
> articles they publish and even possibly in the lecture notes they
> write for themselves, but students own the copyright on their own
> notes, he said.
> 
> “Copyright is a federal law, and generally when state laws conflict
> with federal laws, federal law wins,” Schultz said. “Perhaps more
> important is there’s a First Amendment issue as well. If I take notes
> in class, and I want to share them, that’s speech.”
> 
> UC’s legal office also sent a cease-and-desist letter to Notehall in
> November 2010, prompted at least in part by complaints at UC Davis
> about Notehall, said Jan Carmikle, senior intellectual property
> officer at UC Davis.
> 
> The university told Notehall that the company was violating California
> law, potentially infringing on copyright law, and encouraging students
> to violate university policy and risk discipline.
> 
> Carmikle said many professors and instructors at UC Davis who found
> notes for their classes on Notehall were indignant about it.
> 
> “For a lot of them it’s a reputational quality-control issue. They
> take a lot of pride in giving really high-quality lectures,” she said.
> “If a D-student can put these notes up, that’s not good to anybody.
> It’s not good for other students and not good for the instructor.”
> 
> Schultz argued that faculty members can easily address quality issues
> by making clear to students that they should not trust the accuracy of
> unofficial class notes.
> 
> He described the policy as a trade-off between the cost of suppressing
> student enthusiasm for learning and sharing knowledge against the
> benefit of protecting instructors’ reputations – something they can
> achieve through other means.
> 
> “I just don’t think the trade-off is a very good trade-off for public
> education,” he said.
> 
> At UC Berkeley, a joint academic senate/administrative task force
> recently revised the university policy on course notes. The new policy
> [PDF], which took effect in January, continues to ban the unauthorized
> sale of class notes. It also says students can share notes with other
> students only if they’re both enrolled in the class at the same time.
> In theory, that means a student could face disciplinary action for
> sharing his or her notes from last semester with a student currently
> enrolled in the same class.
> 
> Philip Stark, a member of the task force and professor of statistics
> at UC Berkeley, said the policy should have included more careful
> definitions of “course notes.” At issue, he said, are transcript-style
> notes, not a student’s own synthesis of lecture material.
> 
> “I can’t imagine any action being taken against a student who says,
> ‘Here’s the bullet items from this class.’ That’s not what this is
> intended to address,” he said. “It’s intended to address someone
> representing something as the instructor’s words.”
> 
> Stark, who is also vice chairman of the statistics department, said
> the policy is aimed at maintaining the integrity – and accuracy – of
> the instructor’s lecture.
> 
> “It’s my words, it’s my performance, it’s my material. I want you to
> learn from it, but I don’t want you to represent to someone else that
> these are my words if I haven’t had a chance to vet them,” he said.
> 
> Schultz said he’s concerned the universities are moving in the wrong direction.
> 
> “It’s a policy against sharing knowledge. The Internet and networked
> technologies have been disrupting, one by one, every business model
> that has tried to put gates around information,” he said. “These
> universities have to decide how they’re going to handle this. They can
> embrace it or suppress it.”
> 
> -- 
> Manon Anne Ress
> Knowledge Ecology International
> 1621 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 500
> Washington, DC 20009 USA
> http://www.keionline.org
> manon.ress at keionline.org
> 
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