A Brief Post on Copyright
Who gets to use and own content paid for by District 65?
I’ve been wading through a lot of copyright-related FOIA stuff lately, which will be the subject of a future post (being edited!). One thing that caught my eye are the YouTube links on District 65’s CREATE website. There is a link to promotional videos on the CREATE-65 slide deck as well. CREATE-65 is a $600,000+ teacher recruitment / residency program that has been running for two years.
My complaint is the videos don’t link to the District’s YouTube channel, which has 800+ subscribers. Instead they are posted and link to the superintendent’s personal brand/consultancy page.
These videos were probably taken in his office, using district equipment, edited by district employees, and are literally being used to promote a district initiative. Why are they being posted to his private brand? I’ve seen a similar thing with the District 65 MIRACLES initiative and it’s unclear to me if this is something that the District owns or that Dr. Horton owns. It’s no big deal for the YouTube videos above, but the whole District has been re-organizing around the MIRACLES initiative and he brought it to the district with him:
Dr. Horton said he designed the Miracles framework while he was Deputy Superintendent of Achievement at East St. Louis.
If he leaves, can he take the MIRACLES initiative and sell it for profit (as a consultant) without paying royalties back to District 65, which invested millions of dollars into this initiative? If he leaves the District and we continue to use it, can he collect royalties on these materials? Is he building a set of copyrighted content that he can use in later consulting, where, those who funded it have no ownership stake? I wonder the same thing about the board members that are also consultants; can they take work done by District 65 employees and monetize it without giving back?
He has three YouTube followers, perhaps this is all a pedantic complaint. I just find it frustrating the way District administration is mixing the public and the private. It leaves me with more questions than answers.