Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Schadenfreude alert: profs realize their work is threatened

With the UBC faculty association going to war with UBC over UBC’s appropriation of the intellectual property of faculty members, writer and blogger John Degen cannot help indulging in a little I told you so.

For years advocates for creators’ rights have been dismayed by the campaign that universities and departments of education have been waging against intellectual property. We have been trying to persuade academic creators they are as endangered as we are by this program of devaluing intellectual work, and predicting that their employers intend to steal from them as much as from the rest of us.

We never had much luck. In particular, CAUT, the faculty’s union, behaved like a company union on this matter, energetically shilling for the boss’s campaigns to undermine copyright, instead of defending the fundamental principles of intellectual property.

Now, with its members targeted by their employer, CAUT is actually threatening to censure UBC for implementing the copyright policies CAUT has advocated for years. I guess they never realized it might apply to them too.

(Degen, who is also executive director of the Writers' Union (where I am a member), points out the union has always defended everyone's intellectual property rights, not just those of its own members. He still thinks there would be value in a little reciprocity.

Previous coverage here.
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