Tuesday, October 06, 2009

"Course Hero" and copyright infringement

Remember when students went after Turnitin over copyright issues?
Turnitin beats students over copyright issue in ED Va

Now, profs may be going after "term paper mills / outline factories" on the internet over copyright.

InsideHigherEd has a piece titled Course Hero or Course Villain? which includes the text:

Tracy Mitrano, an information science scholar and director of IT policy at Cornell University, said it is likely that many professors have legitimate copyright claims on materials that have been uploaded without their knowledge. “If I’m going to spend many hours writing up an exam, assuming it has original work in it and it’s in a tangible medium, then I as the creator of that work, under the traditional rules of universities, own the copyright to it,” Mitrano said. This applies to any original work, she added — even if it’s scrawled on a cocktail napkin.

Course Hero, meanwhile, says it is not liable for any copyright infringements because it explicitly exercises no oversight over posted content. Like YouTube, Course Hero only takes down copyrighted content if there is a complaint.

IPBiz notes that, to sue someone over copyright infringement, the work of authorship must be registered. As to the universiites, the contract between university and professor would spell out who owns what, especially as to "works for hire."


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