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Handbook for Student Law for Higher Education Administrators, Third Edition


James Ottavio Castagnera

The Handbook for Student Law for Higher Education Administrators, Third Edition is a practical tool, intended for administrators dealing with students in higher education, focusing principally on four-year institutions. Addressing the ever-evolving relationship between higher education and the law, the book will provide the academic administrator with the means to knowledgably and confidently navigate the many legal threats and challenges facing colleges today. Focused on the "hot" issues in higher education today, and using examples from real cases and scenarios from many institutions, the handbook provides sample policies, checklists, and advice that administrators can apply to a wide variety of situations, both preventatively and proactively. The Handbook for Student Law for Higher Education Administrators, Third Edition is a compendium of practical knowledge and guidance, useful to all administrators dealing with the legal minefield that is higher education.

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Chapter 9: Privacy Rights and Intellectual Property Issues


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In a world that is changing so much and so quickly, the rules that govern it are forced to do the same. Privacy rights and intellectual property laws are no exception, and they are two issues that cannot be ignored by universities.

The fundamental student-privacy rights issue is concerned with student records. The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) provides the guidelines concerning educational records, student and parent access to them, and the obligation of universities to protect that information. The U.S. education system has had more than 20 years to test these boundaries with recent circumstances yielding new interpretations.

In regard to intellectual property, two issues currently are of high concern to universities. The first is plagiarism. Although plagiarism has been a matter of considerable concern in higher education since time immemorial, it isn’t difficult to imagine that it is an exceptionally large problem on campuses today. With the Internet have come new rules—as well as new ways to break those rules—with respect to information and, therefore, also plagiarism. This topic is covered thoroughly in Chapter 5, which should be considered in conjunction with what follows here.

The second, closely related area of high concern is piracy of copyrighted materials such as media files and scholarly articles, which has been profoundly ← 257 | 258 → aggravated by the advents of the ubiquitous Internet. The illegal downloading...

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