Tuesday, January 13, 2015

POTCert Week 7: Class Resources & Intellectual Property

This Post is Incomplete but I may work to complete it later. Find out more here 

As a trainer, I had some experience with copyright issues both as a user and as a creator. As a user of material and resources I respected copyright for three main reasons.

1- Being a part of a reputable organization I felt responsible to uphold their policies of respecting copyright.
2- From an ethical point of view, I felt that copying or using for free something that someone had created and was selling for a price is a form of stealing.
3- I understand people's right to make a living from their intellectual property and support the laws that protect that right and their properties.

When it comes to learning and educational material, it's frustrating to see some companies and publishers turning it into a commercial profit making business. I can accept that the corporate world can and should pay for the learning, but people in general and teachers and students in particular should not be discouraged or prevented from learning by the price tag on the learning tools.

How to reconcile these two idea?

I am grateful that more and more educators and educational institutions are creating open material and resources and I hope they continue providing more variety and higher quality OER.

As a creator there were two sides
1- The policy of the organization I worked for stated that whatever material I created while in their employment was owned by them. this didn't feel right at the beginning because it meant that I had no right to use outside or after leaving the organization. Luckily they didn't mind it much, did nothing to prevent anyone from taking copies of whatever they or other trainers created. While I was lucky that I worked for a fair employer I still don't like the idea of the law protecting such policies. I understand that they should have the right to use it even after  leave but why should I not have the right to use it too if it was created by me? I am not sure if this is a common practice or not.

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