Do teachers ever steal code from their students?

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26 Replies - 3028 Views - Last Post: 15 May 2011 - 04:44 AM

#16 CodeManFan  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do teachers ever steal code from their students?

Posted 13 May 2011 - 06:31 PM

View Postsmohd, on 13 May 2011 - 11:51 AM, said:

View PostBrewer, on 13 May 2011 - 11:40 PM, said:

Not to offend -- but I'm fairly confident that you do have to worry about your son's teacher stealing his code, that just sounds a bit ridiculous. I would imagine that this gent could do anything that your son can do, that's his job.

I agree with that, if the man is the boy`s teacher, than he can do what his student can. But also a student may do what his teacher cant! If you dont want even a teacher to see that then that privacy is applicable but I am afraid if the boy asked many of the concepts he used from his teacher!


Thanks for your reply! My son learned Java mostly from books and tutorials before he ever took a class with this teacher. And the relationship has almost entirely been one way -- with the teacher looking over my son's work (assignments from the course text or original projects) and advising him from there. We have never seen anything produced by the teacher, so there is no question of any of the teacher's ideas or techniques being used by my son in his program...
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#17 rgfirefly24  Icon User is online

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Re: Do teachers ever steal code from their students?

Posted 13 May 2011 - 06:39 PM

The other thing you need to make sure of is that there isn't any rules in place that says that any code written while using software provided to your son or in the capacity of a class (the handing in of the code as assignment could mean this) makes it the property of the school. I know in my job my contract stats that any code i write, while working or representing the company, while using company supplied items, or has been or is stored on company provided equipment is the property of the company. My suggestion would be to write something else that satisfies the requirements of the course to avoid any issues down the road.
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#18 Topher84  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do teachers ever steal code from their students?

Posted 13 May 2011 - 06:57 PM

View Postrgfirefly24, on 13 May 2011 - 07:39 PM, said:

The other thing you need to make sure of is that there isn't any rules in place that says that any code written while using software provided to your son or in the capacity of a class (the handing in of the code as assignment could mean this) makes it the property of the school. I know in my job my contract stats that any code i write, while working or representing the company, while using company supplied items, or has been or is stored on company provided equipment is the property of the company. My suggestion would be to write something else that satisfies the requirements of the course to avoid any issues down the road.


I'll 2nd this. This is exactly why I didn't do an independent study in grad school. ALL code and or documents produced during an independent study becomes property of the school. If he signed up for an independent study, there should have been some paperwork to go along with it that says this. If not, I suggest asking for it.
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#19 Brewer  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do teachers ever steal code from their students?

Posted 13 May 2011 - 07:59 PM

View Postno2pencil, on 13 May 2011 - 10:58 PM, said:

View PostBrewer, on 13 May 2011 - 01:55 PM, said:

I would imagine that this gent could do anything that your son can do, that's his job.

Those whom can do, those whom can't teach.


Fair enough, +rep to you sir.

EDIT: Special Case: Those who do and teach! Freelancing on the side would count as doing as long as the person is making decent money. I'll let you keep the +rep this time though!

This post has been edited by Brewer: 13 May 2011 - 08:03 PM

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#20 CodeManFan  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do teachers ever steal code from their students?

Posted 13 May 2011 - 08:05 PM

View Postrgfirefly24, on 13 May 2011 - 06:39 PM, said:

The other thing you need to make sure of is that there isn't any rules in place that says that any code written while using software provided to your son or in the capacity of a class (the handing in of the code as assignment could mean this) makes it the property of the school. I know in my job my contract stats that any code i write, while working or representing the company, while using company supplied items, or has been or is stored on company provided equipment is the property of the company. My suggestion would be to write something else that satisfies the requirements of the course to avoid any issues down the road.


Good point about the workplace claims and "for the handing in of the code as assignment" caution -- thanks! In this case, all the materials and equipment are ours. It's an independent study course using resources here and original projects of the student's choosing. The virtual school and the teacher have never made any claim to my son's work, even when he was writing assignments for a listed course, so I would guess there is no claim now. However your point about the potential "handing in code" claim is a good one that makes me even more inclined to follow your suggestion...
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#21 CodeManFan  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do teachers ever steal code from their students?

Posted 13 May 2011 - 08:27 PM

View PostTopher84, on 13 May 2011 - 06:57 PM, said:

View Postrgfirefly24, on 13 May 2011 - 07:39 PM, said:

The other thing you need to make sure of is that there isn't any rules in place that says that any code written while using software provided to your son or in the capacity of a class (the handing in of the code as assignment could mean this) makes it the property of the school. I know in my job my contract stats that any code i write, while working or representing the company, while using company supplied items, or has been or is stored on company provided equipment is the property of the company. My suggestion would be to write something else that satisfies the requirements of the course to avoid any issues down the road.


I'll 2nd this. This is exactly why I didn't do an independent study in grad school. ALL code and or documents produced during an independent study becomes property of the school. If he signed up for an independent study, there should have been some paperwork to go along with it that says this. If not, I suggest asking for it.


Thanks for your input! This situation is a bit atypical. It is a virtual (home) high school independent study -- and a rather informal one at that. The computer science teacher is involved informally as an advisor (arranged by my son and me, as my son's home-school "mentor"), and actually has no official responsibilities. I will be the only one reporting to the school about my son's productivity. The school sort of whipped this course together at the last minute, because their "advanced Java" course turned out to be AWFUL (using a free online book, Java Au Naturel by William C. Jones, with his own obscure teaching code system, but that's a whole other story). I wouldn't be surprised if they have no policy about property rights on assignments produced by students at all. But I will certainly keep this in mind for future reference! I never even considered the issue of schools having any claim on the stuff produced by students in their independent study courses. Seems outrageous to me...

This post has been edited by CodeManFan: 13 May 2011 - 08:28 PM

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#22 Topher84  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do teachers ever steal code from their students?

Posted 13 May 2011 - 11:02 PM

Another thing to consider is what potential does the program have to make money? I know that it's your son and anything he produces is probably golden, but you also need to be realistic. I'm not trying to bash his skills I just question the quality since you are the parental unit....but I could be wrong! You never know these days.

Things to consider:
1. Has the program been tested? If so are there regression tests in place for future additions?
2. What kind of documentation does he have to help with maintenance? UML diagrams? Any requirements written down? Can these be easily updated?
3. Any 3rd part libraries being used? If so can you still sell the program under the licenses?
4. Who will maintain it?

Maintenance could be a huge issue. These are just a few things to consider, testing being the most important in my opinion.

This post has been edited by Topher84: 13 May 2011 - 11:32 PM

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#23 darek9576  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do teachers ever steal code from their students?

Posted 14 May 2011 - 10:27 AM

Are you not a bit paranoid? Why do you even assume he is going to do that. Thats ridiculous. If you think he might do it, then do not show the code to him.
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#24 CodeManFan  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do teachers ever steal code from their students?

Posted 14 May 2011 - 12:34 PM

View Postdarek9576, on 14 May 2011 - 10:27 AM, said:

Are you not a bit paranoid? Why do you even assume he is going to do that. Thats ridiculous. If you think he might do it, then do not show the code to him.


Have you even read any of the posts here (after my original)? I've explained myself completely and honestly. And if you had read the posts, you would see that I never "assumed" anything about this teacher. Most replies here have been helpful and respectful. Yours, however, seems intent on just insulting and criticizing...
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#25 darek9576  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do teachers ever steal code from their students?

Posted 14 May 2011 - 12:41 PM

I have not read any posts. Its not like im gonna live forever.
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#26 CodeManFan  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do teachers ever steal code from their students?

Posted 14 May 2011 - 01:14 PM

View PostTopher84, on 13 May 2011 - 11:02 PM, said:

Another thing to consider is what potential does the program have to make money? I know that it's your son and anything he produces is probably golden, but you also need to be realistic. I'm not trying to bash his skills I just question the quality since you are the parental unit....but I could be wrong! You never know these days.

Things to consider:
1. Has the program been tested? If so are there regression tests in place for future additions?
2. What kind of documentation does he have to help with maintenance? UML diagrams? Any requirements written down? Can these be easily updated?
3. Any 3rd part libraries being used? If so can you still sell the program under the licenses?
4. Who will maintain it?

Maintenance could be a huge issue. These are just a few things to consider, testing being the most important in my opinion.


Yeah, I know how it can look, me being the "proud mom" and all. But, I do think I have the education and experience to make a fairly objective assessment of his programs and his skills. I'm a Ph.D. scientist who has comfortably used computers of various platforms professionally as analytical tools in my research for decades, with a wide array of technical software. I have some computer programming experience, too (albeit, a while ago with Fortran and Basic), which is why I encouraged my son to learn it -- I love programming! I am also an artist -- mostly a sculptor, but also drawing and painting -- and have used an array of professional computer drawing programs meant for artists. I've tested and I love using the program my son has written. It is unusual in certain ways, and unique. My son is a perfectionist in his own testing and modification of the program on the many computers we have around here (desk tops, laptops, PC and Mac, off line and online) and sets up little analytical speed tests, etc. while he's trouble shooting. But, no, I don't think it's been tested with any outside evaluation systems (and I don't know anything about this or whether my son does). He does try to solve any computational and performance problems himself, so as not to use 3rd party code. I've even brainstormed with him on the geometry/trigonometry of moving the cursor in certain ways. I think the only libraries he uses are Java's, but again, I'm pretty ignorant about the details. Thanks for your comments. We will look into these things before launching. This will be a fun summer project for us, whether or not it comes to anything...

View Postdarek9576, on 14 May 2011 - 12:41 PM, said:

I have not read any posts. Its not like im gonna live forever.



:-D That's actually pretty funny! Thanks for the laugh, at least... ;-)
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#27 pbl  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do teachers ever steal code from their students?

Posted 15 May 2011 - 04:44 AM

*
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View Postno2pencil, on 13 May 2011 - 09:28 PM, said:

[There are vast amounts of code available on the internet for free & anyone could easily steal a creation & claim it as their own. But certainly any concern of theft isn't a ridiculous idea.

Fully agree with that.
If your son developped something something really really new or something that does the same thing as other but for a lot less money, I would be more concerned about the competitors making similar projects.
It happened to me once. I was politely but seriously advised not to play in their backyard.
So I put it free on the net :)
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