12 Alb. L.J. Sci. & Tech. 231 (2001-2002)
This article looks at the principle of the academic copyright and explores its relevancy to today. The part that I focused on was section on academic freedom: how much liberty can a professor or teacher take with their actions or research before the employer intervenes. It has generally been argued that professors should have more freedom to explore controversial topics than other professions since their primary goal is advancing the general good; particularly through interactions with their students. This cannot be done with the threat of censorship hanging over them constantly. However there must be a balance. Professors must also know that they represent their employers and that because they can have a much more public image than other comparable employees at other places of employment they must present an appropriate image.
This issue is emerging again because the definition of a professor is undergoing change. Before it was understood that professors had lots of interaction with their students and that this interaction was one of the primary reasons that academic freedom was essential. However now that distance learning is emerging, there is the question of whether professors are becoming less interactive. Generally it is understood that while the professor-student interaction is no longer immediate the professor can still interact with them as much if not more than previously and therefore the maintenance of academic freedom is essential.
This academic freedom is one of the prime factors behind the teacher exception, if a professor is taking more responsibility over their own statements and the university is backing off and allowing professors to exercise their own will without oversight, then it can fairly reasonably be argued that these statements by the professor are their own and not copyrighted by the university.
The concept of academic freedom in and of itself does not impact the case Mauro v Allentown directly. But by understanding the background of the teacher exception we can look more critically at the case and understand some of the nuances better
tagged academic_exception academic_freedom albany_law_journal_of_science_and_technology chanani_sandler copyright future_of_copyright history_of_copyright teacher_exception work_for_hire by baume ...and 3 other people ...on 31-JUL-06