Schools Consider Taking Ownership Of Students’ Work

What a life lesson the kids will learn. The Washington Post on guidelines under consideration by the county surrounding Washington D.C.:

A proposal by the Prince George’s County Board of Education to copyright work created by staff and students for school could mean that a picture drawn by a first-grader, a lesson plan developed by a teacher or an app created by a teen would belong to the school system, not the individual. Some have questioned the legality of the proposal as it relates to students.

If the policy is approved, the county would become the only jurisdiction in the Washington region where the school board assumes ownership of work done by the school system’s staff and students.

David Rein, a lawyer and adjunct law professor who teaches intellectual property at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, said he had never heard of a local school board enacting a policy allowing it to hold the copyright for a student’s work.

It’s not unusual for a company to hold the rights to an employee’s work, copyright policy experts said. But the Prince George’s policy goes a step further by saying that work created for the school by employees during their own time and using their own materials is the school system’s property.

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  • teachpeace

    This is wrong on so many levels.
    Is the real objective here to force the population away from “public” schools?

    • emperorreagan

      It certainly seems that way. If you have religious families pulling their kids from public schools on one side and families with education to do so on the other side, you’ll just be left with kids whose parents either don’t care or don’t have a choice.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Sigh… Well colleges already do it, why not elementary students. At least they aren’t making you pay them to steal your work…. yet

    • emperorreagan

      Well, they’re at least going about it in a circuitous way. I’m compelled to pay property taxes and county income taxes in Maryland, to pay for the schools, where they can steal my hypothetical kid’s intellectual property.

    • emperorreagan

      Well, they’re at least going about it in a circuitous way. I’m compelled to pay property taxes and county income taxes in Maryland, to pay for the schools, where they can steal my hypothetical kid’s intellectual property.

  • Phillipede

    It seems like corporations are already about the only things that can gain ready access to patents, in a reasonable amount of time. Thereby making intellectual property only obtainable through and by corporations.

    This just takes it one step further and starts programming kids at an early age to accept that all of their thoughts and ideas are the property of someone else.

  • Phillipede

    It seems like corporations are already about the only things that can gain ready access to patents, in a reasonable amount of time. Thereby making intellectual property only obtainable through and by corporations.

    This just takes it one step further and starts programming kids at an early age to accept that all of their thoughts and ideas are the property of someone else.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

      Great point!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

      Great point!

  • http://www.zoboprepublic.wordpress.com/ zobop republic

    Isn’t this considered theft? Does anyone have any rights? … not even children? Will these people get even credit for their ‘work’?

    • Andrew

      Not even children? Especially not children!

    • InfvoCuernos

      I think you have to be a corporation now to have rights.

    • InfvoCuernos

      I think you have to be a corporation now to have rights.

      • Anarchy Pony

        an LLC, to be precise.

      • Anarchy Pony

        an LLC, to be precise.

  • emperorreagan

    I had writings and drawings confiscated by teachers many times. They might as well have had a copyright on my work because it would always end up in the hands of the counselor to be used against me.

  • Anarchy Pony

    Now we just stop calling them students and start calling them assets.

    • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness

      The states can add them to their balance sheets and sell derivatives to Saudi businessmen. BOOOM. I just solved the recession. You’re welcome.

      • Anarchy Pony

        Well done!

      • Anarchy Pony

        Well done!