sends in a story about Kyle Brady, a computer science major at San Jose State University, who recently ran into trouble over publishing the source code to his programming assignments
after their due dates. One of Brady's professors contacted him and threatened to fail him
if he did not take down the code. Brady took the matter to the Computer Science Department Chair, who consulted with others and decided that releasing the code was not an ethical violation
. Quoting Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing:
"There's a lot of meat on the bones of this story. The most important lesson from it for me is that students want to produce meaningful output from their course-assignments, things that have intrinsic value apart from their usefulness for assessing their progress in the course. Profs — including me, at times — fall into the lazy trap of wanting to assign rotework that can be endlessly recycled as work for new students, a model that fails when the students treat their work as useful in and of itself and therefore worthy of making public for their peers and other interested parties who find them through search results, links, etc. But the convenience of profs must be secondary to the pedagogical value of the university experience — especially now, with universities ratcheting up their tuition fees and trying to justify an education that can put students into debt for the majority of their working lives."