Comments on: Hooray! A win for the good guys. http://www.historiann.com/2009/09/03/hooray-a-win-for-the-good-guys/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Wed, 24 Sep 2014 10:29:16 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Matt L http://www.historiann.com/2009/09/03/hooray-a-win-for-the-good-guys/comment-page-1/#comment-428445 Sat, 05 Sep 2009 03:10:04 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7213#comment-428445 This is an interesting thread. I’m not sure that U of I’s faculty had the purist motives, but clearly they did the right thing. The Global Campus sounds exploitive to students, faculty and adjuncts alike.

I would take up the issue raised by both Kathleen and Historiann on the question of copyrights for syllabi. There is the Creative Commons form of licensing that allows people to protect their intellectual property, but lets others use that material freely provided they meet certain requirements. Usually the requirements include freely sharing the original work along with any innovations and changes you make with others (i.e. if you got the original syllabus for free you can’t turn around and sell the syllabus or its contents to someone else). This type of licensing is a big part of the open source software movement. I think H-net uses a similar license for its on-line book reviews. A share and share alike licensing arrangement for syllabi might strike the balance between hiding the light under a bushel basket and being the (besieged) city on a hill.

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By: Indyanna http://www.historiann.com/2009/09/03/hooray-a-win-for-the-good-guys/comment-page-1/#comment-428331 Sat, 05 Sep 2009 02:01:13 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7213#comment-428331 I wouldn’t even know quite where to find it at the moment, but I believe there’s language in our collective bargaining agreement that impairs or obviates the system’s ability to use the “work made for hire” ploy to appropriate syllabi, so that may be one argument for unionizing. Every time we threaten to strike (which is to say, during every negotiating year) we’re urged to strip our offices of all teaching materials when and if the abandon ship message goes out, and to tell students beforehand that nothing they do for a replacement will be factored into any grades we subsequently give out. But, of course, we never strike [but there *is* one going on at Oakland U. in Michigan right now], and in any case this last angle is somewhat beside the point of “global campus” models, as opposed to strikes.

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By: Comrade PhysioProf http://www.historiann.com/2009/09/03/hooray-a-win-for-the-good-guys/comment-page-1/#comment-428224 Sat, 05 Sep 2009 00:50:46 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7213#comment-428224 The students at my institution *demand* that lecture notes and slide decks be provided to them, the over-entitled little fucks. Rather than listen to their insistent mewling, I give them lecture notes and slide decks, but I make absolutely certain that the notes and slides I provide are completely insufficient to delineate the required material.

When I was a student, the fucking professors talked and wrote shit on the board, and we took motherfucking notes. It wouldn’t have occurred to me in a million years to ask my professor for a copy of her lecture notes.

Now get offa my fucking lawn!

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By: Colonial http://www.historiann.com/2009/09/03/hooray-a-win-for-the-good-guys/comment-page-1/#comment-428107 Fri, 04 Sep 2009 22:36:30 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7213#comment-428107 Related, Sam Houston State has a fully online M.A. History program, and put together a proposal for a fully online Ph.D. history program that was rejected by the state of Texas. They still have the online M.A. program.

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By: Kathleen Lowrey http://www.historiann.com/2009/09/03/hooray-a-win-for-the-good-guys/comment-page-1/#comment-428008 Fri, 04 Sep 2009 20:40:02 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7213#comment-428008 there is a funny joke about misattribution in there somewhere :)

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/09/03/hooray-a-win-for-the-good-guys/comment-page-1/#comment-428005 Fri, 04 Sep 2009 20:10:39 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7213#comment-428005 Kathleen–I meant that the dilemma was to copyright or not to copyright? To hide one’s light under a bushel, or to publish on the web one’s syllabi, notes, PowerPoint slides, etc.?

I think you make some really important points, especially in re: the money and power of institutions versus that of individuals.

And, N.B.: TR didn’t write the book on Barbie that appears to have been plagiarized–M.G. Lord did. TR just wrote the blog post that brought this to my attention.

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By: Kathleen Lowrey http://www.historiann.com/2009/09/03/hooray-a-win-for-the-good-guys/comment-page-1/#comment-427997 Fri, 04 Sep 2009 19:50:43 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7213#comment-427997 cross-posted, wasn’t backtalking the proprietress… but I don’t think this is a dilemma; a problem, yes, but not a dilemma.

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By: Kathleen Lowrey http://www.historiann.com/2009/09/03/hooray-a-win-for-the-good-guys/comment-page-1/#comment-427996 Fri, 04 Sep 2009 19:49:27 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7213#comment-427996 If I can just put in one more plea to whoever might still be looking at this thread — please, please, please do not copyright your syllabi. Look at the case of Tenured Radical. I am sure she holds the copyright on her Barbie book. It gets plagiarized. Is she personally going to hire a copyright lawyer to get her own back? Is her press going to do so on her behalf? No and no.

If you are fighting an entity that has more money than you do, copyright is not your friend. Take it from an anthropologist who works on indigenous knowledge.

The university that wants to market syllabi does not need *your* syllabus. It just needs *a* syllabus. It can pay a lot of money to a prize-winning teacher to produce that syllabus, or to a soulless consultant, or — more likely — a few kopeks to a starving adjunct. It can then turn around and say its syllabus is superior to yours: after all, no-one has paid a dime to buy the rights to your syllabus, have they? And the market knows best, doesn’t it? Ergo its paid for syllabus is better than your free one!

The only way to fight this is to hammer away at the ethical reasons why syllabi should NEVER be copyrightable by *anyone*: no way, nohow.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/09/03/hooray-a-win-for-the-good-guys/comment-page-1/#comment-427995 Fri, 04 Sep 2009 19:48:42 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7213#comment-427995 And that, my friends, is called the horns of a dilemma. I think you both raise great points. It’s just very difficult to know what the implications of either course of action will be.

Then again, considering the pace of action at most unis, this problem may not be worked out by the time I retire (oh, about 25 years from now, given good health and good luck.)

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By: Kathleen Lowrey http://www.historiann.com/2009/09/03/hooray-a-win-for-the-good-guys/comment-page-1/#comment-427978 Fri, 04 Sep 2009 19:25:46 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7213#comment-427978 undine — of course they will! That’s the problem with battling copyrights — the university has lawyers and moolah that we don’t. We will lose if we fight on their terms. That’s why we should fight the idea that syllabi are copyrightable *at all*. If we concede that they are, we’re lunchmeat.

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