Monday, February 22, 2010

University's online writing lab is co-opted by commercial tutoring service

Insider Higher Ed is reporting that an online writing lab developed by Purdue University to help undergrads improve their writing skills has been co-opted by a commercial tutoring service called Tutor.com through a web-practice called "framing."  University officials are upset by what they view as copyright infringement since the online writing lessons are part of the school's intellectual property and thus can't be used without permission.

Purdue officials view framing as an unfair use of their material. They sent Tutor.com a "cease and desist" letter, claiming the company’s framing of its Web pages amounted to a copyright violation. “We encourage people to link to our Web site,” Tammy Conard-Salvo, associate director of the writing lab, told Inside Higher Ed. “But we don’t allow other sites to mirror our content.” Conard-Salvo said displaying OWL resources under the Tutor.com banner suggests that OWL endorses the company — an endorsement the Purdue lab is not keen to give. “It simply misrepresents our work,” she said. “It really suggests a relationship with a commercial entity that we don’t have.”

You can read the rest of the story here.

And for those readers who operate their own online writing program or resource center, as the above story shows, forewarned is forearmed when it comes to preventing others from "borrowing" your materials.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legalwriting/2010/02/universitys-online-writing-lab-is-coopted-by-commercial-tutoring-service.html

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