Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Teacher, beware

I just had a look at the Terms and Conditions at sharemylesson.com, available via a tiny link at the bottom of the main page. The link is labeled t&cs, so that you’re sure to recognize its importance at once.¹ Here’s one passage from Terms and Conditions:

With respect to all Content you post on the Service, you grant SML a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive and fully sub-licensable right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such Content (in whole or part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed. With respect to all Content you post to the Service, you hereby waive any moral rights you have in the Content. You agree to perform all further acts necessary to perfect any of the above rights granted by you to SML, including the execution of deeds and documents, at our request. SML does not acquire any title or ownership rights in the Content that you submit and/or make available. After you submit, post, email, display, transmit or otherwise make available any such Content, you continue to retain any such rights that you may have in such Content, subject to the rights, licenses and privileges granted herein.
In other words, SML can do what it wants with your work. In copyright law, moral rights include the right to attribution. If you waive that right, I’m not sure what “any such rights that you may have in such Content” can mean. What this passage seems to mean though is that anyone who contributes material to Share My Lesson can kiss her or his work goodbye.

Another passage:
You acknowledge that other persons may have submitted Content to us, may have made public or developed, or may originate, submit, make public or develop, material similar or identical to all or a portion of your Content or concepts contained therein, and you understand and agree that you shall not be entitled to any compensation because of the use or exploitation thereof and the submission of Content, or any posting or display thereof, is not any admission of novelty, priority or originality. Even if you subsequently see or learn of a presentation, sound recording, composition, demo, idea, script, drawing, motion picture, photograph, film, video or any other content which appears to incorporate any idea or concept or include anything similar or identical to that contained in any Content you or anyone else submits, that is purely coincidental and unavoidable.
I.e., kiss your work goodbye.

And then there’s this passage:
You are prohibited from reproducing, copying, modifying, renting, leasing, loaning, selling, distributing, exploiting, extracting, providing links to, creating derivative works of or otherwise communicating or making available to third parties any part of the Content of the Service without SML’s prior written consent.

You acknowledge that, by making use of the Service, you are agreeing to comply with this prohibition and that any breach thereof is likely to result in legal proceedings being issued against you.
This passage is merely puzzling. It seems to say that teachers cannot reproduce materials from Share My Lesson for use in their classes. Yet doing so seems to be the whole point of the website.

Teacher, beware.

¹ Irony.

A related post

comments: 1

Anonymous said...

Shameless theft, and a plan later to use the legal theft of such rights to generate additional income via lawsuits, quite like the Righthaven strategy. Shame on them.