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    • 02 AUG 18
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    Commercial Course Content Websites

    Commercial Course Content Websites

    CAUT affiliation ties the BCIT FSA into a national network of faculty associations that shares information and best practices. The Wilfred Laurier University Faculty Association shared some of their work on protecting ownership of course materials and we are reposting a revised version of that post.

    FSA members are increasingly concerned about their rights over their materials. WLUFA’s advice on how to protect your rights is worth considering. Please note that BCIT only owns your course materials if you were paid specifically to develop them, usually through a curriculum development contract or release time provided for that purpose.

    Source: WLUFA & CAUT

    Over the past couple of years, WLUFA has been made aware of their members’ growing concern regarding the sharing of their course material over commercial websites such as OneClass and Course Hero. On most of these sites, students are actually being remunerated (in gift cards, in “credits”, in cash) for posting intellectual property that is not their own to sell. The sites typically refuse to remove course materials unless those materials have been clearly delineated as belonging to the instructor (i.e., that copyright has been violated).

    For that reason, WLUFA has offered the wording below as a suggested addition to members’ course outlines. They also suggest that members take a few moments to explain this addition to their students. Furthermore, we recommend that they incorporate a simple copyright statement (e.g., © William Shakespeare 2017), ideally as a footer on each page, on any instructor-generated course materials, including any materials posted to Wilfred Laurier’s learning platform (MyLearningSpace). It is WLUFA’s position that all of these materials are their members’ intellectual property.

    The educational materials developed for this course, including, but not limited to, lecture notes and slides, handout materials, examinations and assignments, and any materials posted to MyLearningSpace, are the intellectual property of the course instructor. These materials have been developed for student use only and they are not intended for wider dissemination and/or communication outside of a given course. Posting or providing unauthorized audio, video, or textual material of lecture content to third-party websites violates an instructor’s intellectual property rights, and the Canadian Copyright Act.  Recording lectures in any way is prohibited in this course unless specific permission has been granted by the instructor.  Failure to follow these instructions may be in contravention of the university’s Code of Student Conduct and/or Code of Academic Conduct, and will result in appropriate penalties. Participation in this course constitutes an agreement by all parties to abide by the relevant University Policies, and to respect the intellectual property of others during and after their association with Wilfrid Laurier University.

    WLUFA met with University Administrators and requested that they work with them to try to discourage this practice which they see as a form of theft or at least misappropriation of IP as well as cheating. They have indicated that they will examine the academic and non-academic codes of conduct (which are currently under review) to see if they need adjustments in light of these new challenges.

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