An issue has come up in our department about intellectual property rights,
copyrights and students setting up alternative Web sites containing course
information in our monster Organic Chemistry course, ca. 1500 students
enrolled in 3 lecture sections, with recitations of the same size as the
My gut reaction is lighten-up. Students have enough trouble as it is with
Does any one have a more thoughtful reaction or a reference to a thoughtful
statement about this stuff?
The original letter is at the bottom. The upper letter is a reaction from
I would like to add my endorsement of Bob's suggestion. There are new
on-line resources collecting multiple types of information about college
courses across the country, including lecture notes, exams and student
evaluations. Some of our department's courses are already represented
on these sites. The students in our classes need to be made aware of
intellectual property issues, and understand how this limits their
actions in reproducing our course materials, especially if these include
textbook materials properly provided to them through sakai.
Bob's suggested prose from his own course web site is given again
below. I hope you will consider adding something similar to your own
course web sites. A similar paragraph might also be included in the
syllabus you distribute, as part of your general notices on student conduct.
" The material on this web page is copyrighted and may not be posted on
any other web site at or outside of Rutgers without permission.
Noncompliance with this policy will be treated as a violation of the
Code of Student Conduct and will be referred to the Office of Student
Conduct for action."
Robert S. Boikess wrote:
>> As you probably know, the posting of material from our courses on other
>> web sites is becoming a more and more serious problem.
>> Last year a student in my class set up an "alternate web site"
>> that was
>> widely publicized to the students in the class. On it, he posted
>> copyrighted material from Vollhardt that I had sent students privately
>> by email, as well as the answer to a problem I wanted the students to
>> solve. The combination of the attorneys (who said that all our
>> such as lecture notes, old exams, and syllabi are copyrighted), Chuck
>> Hedrick (who said the student was violating our computer policies) and
>> the Office of Student Conduct (who said he was committing a violation)
>> convinced him to close his site.
>> Last week, I served on a Judicial Panel hearing the case of a student
>> who had posted material from a course on an outside
>> commercial web site. Not only was the student paid for doing so,
>> but was
>> also paid every time another student uploaded one of the files posted.
>> When the student went beyond the Professor's lecture notes and
>> study aids and
>> posted answers to graded assignments before the due date, another
>> student in the class complained to the instructor. So the student was
>> then charged with an academic integrity violation. The panel concurred
>> and recommended a number of serious sanctions including an F in the
>> Accordingly after consultation with the appropriate student conduct
>> offices, I have formulated the following statement, which is posted at
>> the top of the Chem 307 web page. If you think it appropriate, you may
>> wish to post this statement on your courseweb pages.
>> Here it is
>> " The material on this web page is copyrighted and may not be
>> posted on
>> any other web site at or outside of Rutgers without permission.
>> Noncompliance with this policy will be treated as a violation of the
>> Code of Student Conduct and will be referred to the Office of Student
>> Conduct for action."
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