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Passive refusal to play

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by Maz86, Oct 11, 2017.


    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    No - but if they decided to leave, their boss would employ someone else and insist that all tools (which are legally company property) are handed over. And it's not clear whether the resources you develop for use in your classroom are yours, or belong to the school.

    But your second point is very much more to the point - why does this person not want to share with their colleagues? I don't share everything I have because I don't always feel it should take up space on the departmental server, but I don't feel I should hoard my resources as some form of petty revenge.
  2. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Resources are now valuable assets as TES resources and key business producers have proven, but when you sign a state school teaching contract it might appear that you have signed over your lifes work... unless you have a different type of contract or are on say long term supply in which case your resoures are your own... we don't know what contract that member of staff has do we? *I may have missed it if it's been stated.
  3. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    There is a valid question of intellectual property rights that does not apply to plumbers.
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I can see why you'd be extremely miffed! However, to never trust any colleague ever again seems a bit extreme.

    Well done TES for not giving you that information, there is nothing you can do with it, except get even more cross. You need to move on.
  5. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    The law is clear: see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ownership-of-copyright-works of which I quote:
    Works created for an employer

    Where a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, or a film, is made by an employee in the course of his employment, his employer is the first owner of any copyright in the work (subject to any agreement to the contrary). The expression “in the course of employment” is not defined by the Act but in settling disputes the courts have typically had to decide whether the employee was working under a ‘contract of service’ (eg as an employee) or a ‘contract for services’ (eg as a freelancer or independent contractor).

    The "literary...." definition would I believe include everything from a PowerPoint to an exam paper.
  6. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Yes but who commissioned the work and who for example is the "employer" on long term supply? Is it the agency or school/college? What if they have created the work prior to the engagement of employment in a school? What if they haven't "created" the resources but bought them themself while not working for a school. What if they purchased them from TES using their own money? What if they work part time or what if they work on a sessional basis as a self employed person? The OP doesn't specify the relationship to the employer or if any "agreement" has been formulated, or if it was original work and when and where it was created and unless I have missed it we don't know what the employment status of the colleague is.

    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  7. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Agreed we don't know the OP's exact situation.
    If the work was created while in a previous employment, it "belongs" to the previous employer.
    If the work was created while not employed, it clearly belongs to the creator.
    The ICO website does give guidance on contractors and the like, though this doesn't seem to be the case in the OP's example.
    If purchased from TES or wherever, then the resources are the purchaser's dependent on the licensing conditions attached to the purchase (and assuming they were the intellectual property of the vendor, and not of the vendor's employer!)

    The key point I'm making is that for the majority of teachers who create resources for their lessons, the copyright is not theirs, but belongs to the employer. Employers may be happy to turn a blind eye to selling their property, or may be unaware, but there is a legal trap waiting to be sprung here. No school would let their employees sell the school's physical property and pocket the proceeds, and I fear that some school somewhere will latch on to this issue and start asking for money - or allege misconduct.
    needabreak likes this.
  8. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

  9. Maz86

    Maz86 New commenter

    Hilariously, I did specifically say in a department meeting that they mustn't sell any resources that they use!

    Really interesting and varied responses. I've talked to my colleague about it loads and sometimes they say that they are shy, sometimes they say that they forget and sometimes they say that they don't want to carry the department. I share all of my resources and they tend to just adapt and improve mine. I think it is just a but mean spirited to be honest. But hey ho. I gather from this that other people think its absurd to share resources o maybe i'll be more sympathetic!
  10. wassurfbabe

    wassurfbabe New commenter

    I don't think it is absurd to share. I think it is all part of creating a sense of a cohesive department working together for the benefit of the pupils. I am happy to share and happy for the stuff to be adapted as others share. It is very damaging when someone won't...However, I would be really miffed if they sold it! I always share for free on TES - though that is because the whole Tax thing scared me off - so would be cross if other people were paying for something I would give free.
  11. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    It is our own fault for signing up to contracts that might mean our employers own our intellectual property... it's bit like signing our life away *so to speak. Of course if it is done out of school hours and in your own time could there be the argument that it is indeed your intellectual property and you just utilise it in your work to help the school, unless it explicitly says it is a requirement to produce and share resources that you produce in your working time.

    I once worked with an intolerable woman who was both rude, incompetent and uncooperative in equal measures, she wanted me to provide her with lesson plans and resources as well as schemes of work/programmes (which I did as HOD, not just for her but for all staff... I saw it as part of my role to support members of my dept). However she went around complaining that she was unsupported, despite having at least one worksheet, information sheet, power point and lesson plan, web links, unit specs and SOW available on the VLE for every topic on each of the Specs we taught (years of work went into them and several staff contributed) they were free to take CDRom copies with them when they left too, ironically everyone knew she was supported (if not liked much) and other dept members together with myself would constantly signpost her to the resources which she either "couldn't find" or were never good enough for her (despite their use by others who had ensured outcome targets were met). She was invited to rework them as she saw fit or create her own, she did neither... sometimes there's just no pleasing some people.
    Alice K likes this.
  12. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    The contract would have to specifically remove the employer's copyright and assign it to the worker if that's what you want. A contract silent on copyright would follow the law on intellectual property and it would vest in the employer.

    Moving away from education, consider what happens when a designer produces a new model of car for a manufacturer. The law says that the design, produced while the designer was employed by that manufacturer, belongs to the manufacturer. So the designer can't go to the competitor manufacturer and offer his design - it doesn't belong to him. And likewise he can't tell the first manufacturer to stop using his design.

    I fully accept that education is significantly different. However there is money to be made from "resources" of all sorts even though schools don't yet compete in the same way car manufacturers do. So the law needs to be understood by employers and employees, so that they can make informed decisions. Schools can of course allow their IP to be used more widely; if they are being generous they might release it under Creative Commons, or allow employees to make money from it.
    needabreak likes this.
  13. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Especially if employing part time staff who might do other things in their free time.
  14. MarkBOT

    MarkBOT New commenter

    Wrong Wrong Wrong.

    Unless the individual created them specifically for their employer as part of there paid duties the copyright would remain with the individual who created said resources.

    Fwiw: Any resources we create for use with our employers have our logo, company name and Web address on. If you put your name on the resource the copyright belongs to you.

    In response to the car design argument, that is the explicit job of said employee.... If you are being paid to do that job fine,as a teacher we are not paid to create resources.
    Also a car designer is unlikely to work outside if his/her job, but if they did decide to create a new design in there own time off the company books, the company would have no right to claim that design.....
    Aa a teacher resources will almost exclusively be created outside of your contracted hours and as such your employer has no right to claim the rights to the intellectual property
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  15. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

  16. MarkBOT

    MarkBOT New commenter

    As i explained, just because you are employed by someone, that does not mean they own the rights to anything that you create. I am employed by a college, if i design a new car (as an example) the college would clearly not own the rights to that.

    Unless you are expressly employed to create resources for the school, or were directed as part of your duties to create new resources, and did so within your contracted hours, then the intellectual property belongs to the individual that created the resources.

    I don't want to get into it to much, but if the school owned the resources created by teachers, then the profit from every resource that TES sells should be going to the schools as they would own the intellectual property to said resource. That is obviously garbage. You also wouldn't be able to take the resources and use them in another school without first gaining written consent. Again this is obviously garbage.
    needabreak likes this.
  17. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    I think there's a distinction between:
    (a) what we'd like the world to be
    (b) how the world is, and
    (c) the law.
    I think most of us would like, under (a), a free exchange of "resources" without any worries about ownership of IP and without money changing hands.
    In fact many teachers create resources and sell them, or take them to their next employer. This is point (b), and the further issue here is that most (all?) employers have let this happen. Some may be explicit about this in their terms and conditions, but I would guess that most don't. @MarkBOT 's paragraph 3 describes the world as it is, but not the legal position.
    However (c) is fixed. The IPO's advice is clear and employment for teachers stretches beyond Directed Hours. The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 section 11 (2) is quite clear. See https://www.gov.uk/government/uploa...44/copyright-designs-and-patents-act-1988.pdf
    The workload on an employer trying to trace the fate of copyright material which has been transferred to a new employer (e.g. a maths worksheet), or sold on via TES, would be very high in comparison with any civil claim against an employee. So enforcement under the Act is highly unlikely in schools.
  18. MarkBOT

    MarkBOT New commenter

    (1) The author of a work is the first owner of any copyright in it, subject to the following provisions.
    (2) Where a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, or a film, is made by an employee in the course of his employment, his employer is the first owner of any copyright in the work subject to any agreement to the contrary.

    Extracted from the copyright document you posted. It also goes on to explain that the copyright that would be owned by the employer would only extend to works within the scope of usual duties at work.

    Resources created by teachers would not fall into any of the above categories, and if said resources were created outside of working hours then the employer cant lay claim to said resources.

    If i am at home working on my own computer at 9pm on a new piece of software, my employee cannot lay claim to it. Just because i choose to use my intellectual property within a work environment, that does not mean i am obliged to share, or distribute it freely.

    I think you make a fair point about cost or pursuing such a law suit, but it is still an important avenue to explore. We are quite prolific creators of software products that aid teachers, we work for a college, they cannot lay claim to our products just because we work there. We are careful regardless to copy protect all of our resources with our company logo.
  19. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    I wonder how many teachers are employed to create resources?
  20. Curae

    Curae Star commenter

    Some terrible suggestions of 'forcing 'a talented member of staff to give up her resources. Maybe she / he believes the faculty does not deserve it for whatever reason. Is she unhappy with any aspect or possible lack of support?

    As HOF I am afraid that togethet with your salary you have to accept this and pisdoblt make your own resources or buy in some Force her to give hers up and she will move on.

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