Higher Education Webinars

Law, Policy -- and IT?

Tracy Mitrano explores the intersection where higher education, the Internet and the world meet (and sometimes collide).

October 10, 2012 - 11:44am
Last week a colleague at Cornell asked me to give a talk to his class on intellectual property. I found myself explaining the historical dynamics behind the American Revolution, Constitution and a free-market political economy. "Unless you were a pirate," I said, "you could not trade anywhere in the world from England without a license."  Another quote:  "The first law to establish exclusive rights, a monopoly in copyright, dates back to 1557 when Elizabeth I squelched counterfeiters use the new technology, the printing press, to manufacture fraudulent documents for everything, including Royal charters to trade.
October 9, 2012 - 2:02pm
For the last decade, higher education has spent considerable and increasingly scarce funds defending itself from the publishing and entertainment industry, which, if they are sincere in their belief that it is colleges and universities causing their problems, both faculty and students, they would do well to listen carefully to the comments yesterday.
October 8, 2012 - 11:57am
At the end of September I attended and spoke at a conference at the United States Consulate General in Florence, Italy on "Piracy and Counterfeiting in a Digital Environment: U.S. and Italian Experience."
September 24, 2012 - 9:02am
A quick slice through the NYT yesterday disclosed two articles that raise interesting issues: Who Built the Internet and Free Speech.
September 12, 2012 - 11:43am
The Institute for Computer Policy and Law is in its seventeenth year. Like all good girl scouts, it has made "new friends, and keeps the old, one is silver and the other gold!" This year we shared organization with my colleagues Oya Rieger and Kornelia Tancheva of the Cornell University Library to bring our legal and policy acumen to pressing academic questions such as scholarly publishing, copyright, Internet privacy, academic integrity and teaching and learning, to name just a few highlights.
August 22, 2012 - 7:34pm
A week or so ago, I decided to write about academic integrity because of the plagiarism reports about MOOCs.  For anyone following the posts, the first was a recounting of my first experience with plagiarism as a teaching assistant 30 years ago.  Yesterday's was a broad stroke report about how technology disrupted the traditional balance between the policy and practice.
August 21, 2012 - 10:12am
That the Internet is a game changer is well-known phenomenon. In fact, the word most usually associated with this phenomenon is "disruptive," and it is a good one because more times than not it is truly a neutral, descriptive term. Depending on what side of the fence you are on at the time of the disruption, you might think it either a good or bad thing.  Think content industry: bad. Think people without money who want access to content: good. Of course, life, law and technology are infinitely more complicated than those Manichaeism terms, but you get the idea. Let's see how it applies to academic integrity.
August 21, 2012 - 10:11am
That the Internet is a game changer is well-known phenomenon. In fact, the word most usually associated with this phenomenon is "disruptive," and it is a good one because more times than not it is truly a neutral, descriptive term. Depending on what side of the fence you are on at the time of the disruption, you might think it either a good or bad thing.  Think content industry: bad. Think people without money who want access to content: good. Of course, life, law and technology are infinitely more complicated than those Manichaeism terms, but you get the idea. Let's see how it applies to academic integrity.
August 16, 2012 - 11:44am
I encountered my first case of academic integrity as a third year graduate student teaching assistant. Although concentrating on U.S. history, I assisted Professor Thomas Africa, a beloved and noted historian of Ancient Rome, at Binghamton University. The year was 1983, fall semester. As I read through a paper on what exactly now I do not recall, I vividly remember the sense that came over me when I hit a paragraph in the middle of the term paper that instinctively struck me as odd.  At the time, I was not even aware of what the problem was. I was not looking for plagiarism.
August 6, 2012 - 1:02pm
Many issues of note are in this story worth teasing out. 1. Do students know and understand behaviors that have the potential to compromise network security which therefore might run them afoul of IT policy?

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