Prince George’s School Board Considering Claim of Copyright Over All Work Produced By Students and Teachers

250px-PGCPS_Logo_2011220px-Finger_PaintingWe have had a running discussion of the expansion of copyright and trademark laws in this country. Now, the Prince George’s County Board of Education is moving toward claiming copyright to work created by staff and students that would include everything from a teacher’s lesson plan to a toddler’s finger painting project. This would make the county the first to claim such ownership over the work of students and teachers. It is part of the ever-expanding balkanization of work in this country into propriety material — backed up by draconian civil and criminal penalties.

The policy in my view is both ill-conceived and poorly drafted. Yet, it was recommended by the board staff to grab ownership rights for the county. It would make any work created during school hours the property of the county. The county could then market and sell things like lesson plans. I am less sure of the basis to claim the work of students who are neither paid by the county nor surrender propriety claims as a conditions for a public education.

The proposal in my view is an example of the thoughtless type of action that we have seen from our schools in areas like zero tolerance policies. Our schools seem to have evolved into the worst form of expansive bureaucracy that evades both logic and limits. I am shocked that this proposal made it beyond a water cooler discussion and yet it is being seriously considered by the board.

What do you think?

Source: Washington Post

29 thoughts on “Prince George’s School Board Considering Claim of Copyright Over All Work Produced By Students and Teachers

  1. “EastBroadwayLong Beach1, February 5, 2013 at 8:59 am

    It seems, in this country, that the only thing not Illegal now, is robbing the people blind……”

    Still reading from your entrapment manual/script? 😉

  2. Copyright?

    Working as a officer/tech in the Nuclear Surveillance dept at Fort Huachuca in 1961 I developed the idea and made primitive tests of a device that could reveal the secrets of nuclear explosions.
    As I was not an experienced circuit engineer, it stayed there as a suggestion for development in a report.

    20 years later I heard from reliable sources that my “idea´” had been realized in a nationwide system, so near as your nearest telephone post equipped detector. Guess it is gone now. Riches so near!

    Should I have sought patent counseling as a young naive officer serving my country (ironic end phrase)?

  3. This is NOT crazy. This is a revenue stream. This is privatized education. And I wouldn’t make any guesses about Michelle Rhee’s position on this.

  4. Having been a public school teacher for many years, I think this attempt to copyright the work of both students and teachers in unconscionable. As Andy said, teachers most often create/develop lesson plans and educational activities outside of school hours. It’s bad enough for a school system to claim they own copyrights to educational materials developed by teachers–but to calim copyright over work created by students is despicable!!!!!

  5. Can you imagine Harvard claiming a copyright over everything a Professor or a student wrote? If yes, then…uh…well… OK then. So then, let PG County do the same, right?

    And if not, not.

  6. Showing off are you? We had some Hebrew once. and now Cyrillics.
    Mostly it is confined to snobbish use of French, latin, ancient greek and very occasionally arabic (of which there is no consistent universal modern tongue.)

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