By Ovetta Wiggins, Feb 03, 2013 01:32 AM EST
The Washington Post Published: February 2
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.(Read more) and by (NBC News here <~~)
This seems beyond the pale to us. Imagine a company claiming intellectual property rights to the creative work of its customers. Students are not employees of PG schools, they are customers, and their parents are owners through the taxes they pay.
As far as actual employees are concerned, the last Union contract signed with the school system should be pretty explicitly and limited to the work employees are paid to do, or work performed using County resources. When employees are hired, BOE should remember that, they are not buying employees, they are only renting a part of their ability through employment.
There is no question this is an enormous very negative idea. The folks who even gave passing thought to it should be fired. Appropriating (stealing) the work of others regardless of age for whatever use is wrong and most times illegal. What does this teach our children about the value and meaning of their efforts? What’s this say about the adults in the school system, who evidently can’t do better?
With this concept that everything a first grader does becomes PG Co intellectual property then there is a question of when does it no longer hold? A first grader sitting in crayon class thinks of a fish and draws it on paper. That is now PGCo copyright material. Eighteen years later the now adult screenplay writer stops by the school to look up his collected works and sees the fish and writes a bigger hit then Elmo. Will PG Co public schools demand the proceeds from that movie? …. Say “NO” to this crazy idea and demand better changes.