Saturday, April 16, 2005

A New Twist To An Old Idea

How does a college student go about stirring-up a ruckus on campus? He posts the tests from various professors on the internet as a "study resource." As one might expect, officials at his school, The University of Wyoming, are not too happy:
Aaron Narva also was charged with violating university regulations; a hearing was scheduled for April 20.

In a telephone interview Thursday, Narva said he set up the site as a clearinghouse for study materials, offering old tests, quizzes, study guides and student notes.

Narva removed the materials from the site last week after university attorney Susan Weidel sent him a letter saying the university would "consider taking appropriate legal action" unless he did so.

Narva said old tests have helped him focus on what professors were looking for, and that he thought students would appreciate a central repository for such material.

Narva said he had removed some material from his site earlier after being contacted by professors, but university spokesman Jay Fromkin said at least one professor complained that Narva failed to do that.

Fromkin said the university got involved at the request of several faculty members.

Dane Ciolino, who teaches copyright law at Loyola University in New Orleans, said Narva took "an age-old tradition of keeping test banks and posting it online, and that makes new issues arise."

"It's not as simple as he says ... because by posting it online he's in effect making many, many more copies," Ciolino said, adding that Narva can't claim fair use if he's selling access to the tests.

Originally, Narva was selling access to the tests, later he was granting it free-of-charge.
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