Culture News

Former ASU Professors Threaten Legal Action Against University for Violation of Intellectual Property

Last week, Arizona State University's Governance Grievance Committee agreed to hear a case filed by two professors against the university for violation of intellectual property and copyright infringement.

Jeff MacSwan and his wife Kellie Rolstad were both tenured professors as ASU and taught courses at the Teachers College (formerly the College of Education). They were the founders of ASU's Applied Linguistics PhD Program, where they created the syllabi and related course materials, including videos, activities, and applied-learning exercises.

Last year, the two caught wind that the courses they designed were being used without their permission. MacSwan says he enrolled in one of the online courses and, sure enough, there were his videos and materials being used by a professor he'd never met -- largely without attribution.

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton