Students Sharing Files and Notes on Facebook – Legal or not? #EdTech

[ 0 ] April 18, 2012 |

EdTech News issued a great piece last week in light of Facebook’s announcement that it was reviving Facebook Group for Schools.  There is the usual social networking of students and events, but students will also be able to share files up to 25MB.

According to EdTech News, student participation in Facebook Group for Schools may actually be a contradiction to the Facebook Terms of Use for the student, thus putting in jeopardy their own Facebook membership.  “You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings,” Facebook says.

“For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License).

This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”

The question becomes – what do students legally own?  If they take notes, but the course material is not theirs, are they in violation of current copyright laws?

Various universities have student guidelines for conduct and make it an offense to sell or otherwise distribute notes for compensation.

Under UC Berkeley’s policies, if a student shared their notes through Facebook’s new platform, they would be committing an offence. Even though the student has produced the notes, as they are based on the contribution of the university, it claims the right to control reproduction and sharing of the material.

It will be interesting to see what changes, if anything, occur as Facebook Groups for Schools rolls out.  Will student behavior adopt and use?  Will universities change some of their policies?

Where do you side on the matter?



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Category: Higher Education, K-12

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