Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law


Jon Garon

First Page



The tension between academic institutions as creators and consumers of intellectual property seems to be most directly felt in the new areas of distance education. Despite the significant opportunities to use new media to expand the reach of the classroom to an ever-growing body of students, concerns regarding copyright, trademark and defamation law continue to limit and dictate what schools attempt to do. These limitations are more directly felt by individual instructors, who must enforce appropriate usage policies for their students, create copyrighted materials and negotiate with their schools over the ownership of the valuable content created.

This Article has merely provided the starting point for the development of a comprehensive policy approach that every school should have to determine what choices and balance are most appropriate for its development of its intellectual property resources and its educational mission. Copyright and trademark management, ownership guidelines, usage policies and protocols on how and when an instructor should intervene by removing a posting or other material submitted by students are all topics that need careful development by every school.