Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mine? Mine? Mine?

Who owns what we create?

I mean as teachers - if I create something on school time who does it belong to? Is it mine? I made it. Or does it belong to the division? We did make it while being paid by them. (For that matter when exactly does school time end? I am paid on a salary not by the hour.) If I leave am I obligated to leave a copy of what I created? Do I even have the right to take it with me?

If an architect designs a building - it belongs to the company they work for. An engineer's work belongs to the firm. Who does my work belong to? Do I even have the right to offer it up as Creative Commons work? (Like virtually all of my work is?) What is the story with university research? Does it belong to the researcher - the university - or is it a shared copyright?

I know that there are special exceptions in the Canadian Copyright laws for education but how far does it go?

I don't know. But for the record - (to any of my bosses) - you can use anything I create, just keep me happy enough and we won't have to get into the discussion of whether I can take it with me.


Ryan Nickell said...

Although we have talked about this I still don't think we know the answer. Hopefully somebody does. It is an interesting question. My guess is that educators are a bit different. An architect is payed to create drafts and plans etc... I'm not sure.

MLHoffman said...

Ryan wanted an answer...... Here's one:

I think it's mine. I'll share with anyone, but ultimately it's mine.

pcone said...

I don't know if any teacher has been told that he/she has to leave all his/her teaching materials behind once they leave a school. It has been my experience, once someone leaves, everything leaves with them. An interesting scenario: If you left Cando, could you be required to leave your personally assembled "smartboard lessons" and inservice your replacement on demand? For how long? Even if you are not in the employ of LSSD?

Terrel Hill said...

if it is intellectual property, you may copyright it. you would do so by marking it with the c copy right symbol and putting your name and date. you may also submit a copy of what you have made, to a company that specializes in copy writing material. they will be able to say that it was copy right as of a date. you should also provide all older versions or notes.

Gary Ball said...

Yes it is intellectual property. But what if I made it on school time. I developed it during time that I was paid by the division (say during my preps or during my classes)? Does that still make it my property?

We were talking about this at lunch today. The real question is what are we paid to do here? I am paid to teach students. The tools I use to teach are incidental. The product I am hired for is an educated student - not my worksheets. A consultant might be a different story. For example I am given time to develop our school webpage. Just because I work on it during time specifically set aside for it means that the webpage belongs to the school.

My own educational websites are a bit more of a grey area. What about this blog? I do work on it during school hours.

(No you division types cannot have my blog - whatever the law says - mine, mine, mine)