NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ1099072
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1938-9809
Public Policy Issues Surrounding Online University Courses
Holmes, Georgia L.
Forum on Public Policy Online, v2008 n1 Spr 2008
With the maturation of the internet more and more colleges and universities are offering online courses. As these courses enter the mainstream, public policy issues are beginning to emerge. Many of these involve the tension between the "work for hire" doctrine and academic freedom that occurs when educational institutions offer these courses with a profit motive and then claim ownership of course materials. When a university begins to offer courses with a for profit motive, issues involving copyright infringement may also arise due to the inapplicability of the "fair use exception". Other issues involve a developing disparity between the rights of public university faculty over those of private university faculty to the ownership of course materials as a result of the United States Supreme Court decision in "NLRB v. Yeshiva University" as well as the Due Process and the Takings Clauses in the Fifth Amendment and the Due Process Clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The lack of clarity in U.S. copyright law over ownership of professorial created academic works has led some commentators to suggest the time has come to amend the law to return a "teacher exception" to the definition of a "work for hire" in the U.S. copyright statute. In the meantime, faculty must negotiate ownership issues with their schools on a individual basis, through collective bargaining or by both. In the case of private university faculty, there is no guarantee of any right to negotiate with their employer.
Oxford Round Table. 406 West Florida Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801. Tel: 217-344-0237; Fax: 217-344-6963; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Fifth Amendment; Fourteenth Amendment; National Labor Relations Board v Yeshiva University
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A