Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Copyright Claim Jumping

Taking copyright a little too far in Maryland?
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, "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.

Some parents and teacher organizations say they are worried that the measure would stifle creativity or that it would strip educators of the incentive to come up with new ideas and ways to teach. If the policy is approved, the county would become the only one in the Washington area where the school board would claim the rights on anything students, teachers or other staff create.
Hey, school board-leave those kids' fingerpaintings alone...

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