Questions tagged [legal-issues]

On legal issues affecting academicians. Note that Academia.SE, like any SE site, cannot offer specific legal advice; consult a lawyer for such questions. Use [law], not [legal-issues], for questions on law as an academic discipline or field of study.

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25
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2answers
670 views

What kind of assistance from graduate institution can I expect in transferring parole?

I am currently applying to graduate programs in physics across the US, though primarily in California. I am a New York State resident currently on parole for a violent crime committed in 2005. I have ...
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3answers
2k views

Using previous student essays as examples

I teach English as a second language to pre-college adults in the U.S., and I'm interested in the idea of using essays from previous students as examples in a writing class. At a previous institution ...
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5answers
13k views

Is it legal (USA) and ethical to use international edition textbooks? When I pay for a textbook, where does the money go?

Background: I am a student. I didn't have anything in life for four years, and I worked myself silly at times for it. So now I ask - when I pay hundreds of dollars over the production cost (new ...
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1answer
426 views

When is it necessary to consult a university lawyer?

A comment on this answer of mine about e-book lending suggested that it would be better to talk to a lawyer. The situation is as follows: My head of school asked me to explore means of providing our ...
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3answers
2k views

Can we buy licenses for e-books and lend them to students?

We are thinking about buying new textbooks for our students. Is there an established practice of buying digital copies of books for students? I expect that e-books should generally be cheaper and we ...
4
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2answers
402 views

US statute of Higher Education System

I'm taking for granted several fact about higher-education system in the US, such as: Professors can move freely between universities, even ones outside US. They are in this regard like professional ...
26
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4answers
7k views

Is it legal and is it appropriate to display religious items in faculty offices in the United States?

This question is specifically in the context of an American public institution and a generic faculty member, specifically not someone working in religious studies or a similar department. I have ...
5
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2answers
438 views

Is patenting based on theoretical findings possible?

Imagine one, as part of their academic research, makes a theoretical finding of a new material with interesting properties based on a computer simulation. The method used in the simulation is sound ...
12
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3answers
32k views

Have people been prosecuted for using fake degrees?

Diploma mills sell degrees at any level, ranging from bachelor to PhD. The way I see it, the sole purpose of getting milled diplomas is to deceive others. As such, I expect the consequences of getting ...
37
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7answers
10k views

Would a 5-year prison sentence totally ruin one's academic career?

For committing a crime considered very severe in the U.S. and in some countries (hence the 5-year minimum sentence), but not as severe (but may still lead to imprisonment) in many other countries? He ...
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3answers
226 views

In which countries must college professors be cleared to work with minors?

I knew some college students in the U.S. who were <18 years old. In which countries must college professors be cleared (background-checked, certified, fingerprinted, etc., like U.S. K-12 teachers) ...
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2answers
1k views

What is the difference between plagiarism and copyright infringement?

In this several times up-voted answer, it is suggested, among other things, that 'if someone using an image [...] that they do not own (it) is inappropriate and should be first reported to the PI of ...
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3answers
604 views

Could research data fall under the Freedom of Information Act?

When I refer to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) I mean either the federal act or similarly implemented state laws. Clearly the validity of such requests would have to be limited to institutions ...
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3answers
2k views

Does getting pay to be a subject in an experiment violate an F1 visa in the US?

I am in a university in the US. I need 10 subjects for a 2-hour experiment. The compensation is 100 USD. If a subject is an international grad student on an F1 visa in my university, will it go ...
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1answer
1k views

Does adding “All rights reserved” have no legal usefulness?

My University requires students to add the mention "All rights reserved." on their thesis. The full required copyright notice is "© 2008 Jane Doe. All rights reserved." However, I have read in a ...
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5answers
7k views

Professor will not write a letter of recommendation because I have restricted access to my records under FERPA, is this legitimate?

I am preparing my tenure-track faculty application materials for the current hiring cycle, and I'm thinking of replacing one of my reference writers with one of my PhD committee members (I'll call him ...
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4answers
10k views

Who owns the intellectual property for work you do on weekends?

I am an academic at a UK university and have been asked to do some consultancy work for a company who wants to own all the IP for that work. I would only do this work on the weekends. Would my ...
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4answers
2k views

Is it legal and ethical to post my notes of a conference I am attending on my website?

I'm due to attend a conference soon, and plan to take notes on the talks I attend. My note-taking software of choice (org-mode) can easily export to HTML. Is it legal to post my notes on my website? ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Can a US university force a foreign student to obtain health insurance from a specific provider?

My wife is doing her MBA at a state university, and they have a requirement that she purchases health insurance from a specific provider (which has a pricing agreement with the university, but that is ...
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1answer
309 views

Am I allowed to write an essay about a scientific theory without violating the copyright?

I have in project to write an essay on the Special Theory of Relativity. My idea is then to publish it as an ebook. I would like to know if I can freely write about this topic or I need to take into ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Am I allowed to republish / distribute abstracts?

Example: I have a document containing 1,000 abstracts of research articles from different publishers. Am I allowed to distribute this document for free online? If not, has anyone being sued for doing ...
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5answers
3k views

How will expulsion for physical abuse and sexual misconduct affect a student's future educational career?

I recently had a university student (my ex) expelled from my undergrad university when he was found responsible for physical abuse and sexual misconduct. How would this expulsion affect his future ...
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3answers
673 views

Is an automatic copyright transfer clause in publisher's instructions to authors typically enforced/enforceable?

Some publishers have a clause like the following in their author instructions: Submission of a manuscript implies... that if and when the manuscript is accepted for publication, the authors agree ...
6
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3answers
2k views

Would tenured professors who are charged with a crime generally be fired?

What's the usual (North American) universities' practice on dealing with tenured professors who have been criminally charged? I've encountered two scenarios indirectly that could make some professors ...
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2answers
1k views

Has the DeWitt Clause, which prevents publication of named DBMS benchmarks, ever been successfully defended in court?

Several commercial database vendors include an end-user license agreement provision, known as the DeWitt Clause, that prohibits researchers and scientists from explicitly using the names of their ...
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4answers
901 views

Are there any legal issues with publishing part of an unpublished thesis in a journal?

I have recently graduated and I was wondering whether, after submitting my thesis, there are any issues (legal or otherwise) if I publish parts of my thesis as a paper in a journal. My thesis was not ...
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3answers
5k views

Can I mention brand names and their products in my research/technical paper?

I want to write a paper on Mobile Screens in HCI, as phones are getting uncomfortably big for users, I want to provide some solution to the big screen phones or how logically state that how small ...
77
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7answers
9k views

To avoid legal battle, in bussiness world reference letters are written extremely terse. How do academics get away with this?

It seems to be accepted wisdom in the business world that reference letters for former employees should be extremely terse. They should confirm that the employee worked there, and essentially nothing ...
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5answers
5k views

Is it ethical/lawful to recolor/scale the logos?

Is it ethical/lawful to recolor/scale the logos when importing them to presentation slides to make the logos meet the template standards and fit the theme colors?
59
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5answers
12k views

Should I send a “cease-and-desist” letter to ResearchGate?

ResearchGate is pretty well placed on Google. But it does not have a lot of contents or active users, despite their constant invitation spam. So they spidered a lot of publications, and provide some ...
17
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3answers
529 views

Advice wanted concerning students who have had run ins with the law.

I am a first year grad student with an expunged felony in the state of Arkansas. I am looking for advice on if and how I should communicate this with my adviser. The felony is due to a drug crime and ...
7
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1answer
1k views

Can I use someone else's research commercially?

I found a published research paper from the research arm of a company. I would like to use what is presented in the research paper commercially. The materials presented in the research paper do not ...
21
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2answers
1k views

Can we use students' class homework solution for research purpose?

A colleague of mine would like to compare 25+ different Java implementations of the same homework. Is it OK (ethically/legally in the US) to share my students' class homework solutions with him for ...
7
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2answers
1k views

Is consent required to record audio of a conference talk in the US?

Do I need a consent to record audio of a presentation at a scientific conference in USA (provided that the conference does not explicitly prohibit such recording)? I'm guessing since it is not a ...
8
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2answers
543 views

If a paper or software is released to the public, can the university still file a patent?

It is my understanding that patents can be invalidated if there is prior art to the technique at hand; DJB has a piece that would suggest that this way authors can inadvertently invalidate their own ...
18
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2answers
3k views

Is it illegal to share publications not in the public domain with collaborators?

Back in my university days, I got into the habit of saving papers I had to read to my hard disk. At first I did this simply to organize them more conveniently, and have quicker access to them. ...
8
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1answer
666 views

Is it legal to run interviews for an academic job when the post has already being assigned?

The normal UK process to hire new academic staff would be: The position is placed on job adverts, websites, specialized magazines The curricula and forms from prospective candidates are collected A ...
23
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1answer
864 views

How is US law on equal opportunity enforced in academic recruitment?

Almost every US university states on its job advertisements that the university is an equal opportunity employer. Based on federal law, this means that applicants not be judged by their race, color, ...
11
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2answers
666 views

Is it legal in the US for a professor to publicly reveal a student's performance in PhD comprehensive exams?

Is it legal (for a faculty member) to publicly reveal a student's performance in PhD comprehensive exams? In the US, isn't this in violation of FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of ...
18
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4answers
2k views

Does publishing a book while employed by an academic institution grant them legal claim on the royalties?

If I publish a book on my research topics while employed for an academic institution, can they claim part of the revenues I get from royalties ? My question is relative to Europe, but if someone knows ...