28 September 2008

Copy of the Sent 3

I admit, I am sort of posting these in reverse order, as I sort through old e-mail. I think this is the one that started it all. At least I can't find anything earlier, though I know there was. I think the original was just a sentence or two complaining about poorly timed discoveries of policy changes whose nature didn't help anything really.

The problem here is a conflation between intellectual property rights and usage rights. (Somebody find the legal advisor for the faculty union and kick them in the kneecaps for that one ... I mean, just what the school needs: structured balkanization spelled out in the faculty contract.)

By creating content for the school on the school's payroll for the teaching of these courses, the faculty are giving a certain measure of license to the school, which in order to protect copyright should of course be limited to usage rights. But to forbid even usage rights without explicit permission in each specific instance makes it much more difficult to maintain consistency between courses and thus will most probably wreak havoc with accreditation next time it comes around.

Not to mention the issue of something like [course number], where by not being able to copy shells over you are in effect saying I don't have the right to my own content because someone else has been teaching it in the interim.

The to avoid this I would ask the faculty at the next faculty meeting if they would be willing to sign voluntary waivers allowing all faculty to share information with each other in the department openly to ensure course consistency between sections. Furthermore, I would also ensure that there is always an active copy of a version as developed by the faculty of record for that course with documentation on file that the shell can be copied as needed so that new faculty and adjuncts can acquire a working shell when picking up new courses.

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