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A Computer Engineer school (which shall remain anonymous) has issued an assignment to almost every student, which is to produce a short (3-5min) tutorial of a given student-specific subject.

The school website coincidentally has a "Tutorial video" section, but no content yet.

When asked about this, the teacher said the assignment will not be used for the school website, even though the assignment requires students to concatenate their videos with a "For more tutorials, check school.name.com" at the end.

If the student videos end up on the website, is the school breaking any laws or infringing any rights?

The country I'm interested in is France.

Note: This is a private school, and while the contract asks the students to give up image rights, there is no mention of the status of work produced in the school.

Additional information:

I've read the contract again in search of intellectual property. I've specifically refused to give up intellectual rights in the contract, but did concede image rights.

  • In the UK this would be legal as it is property of the school. Not sure for France, though. – Terry Oct 7 '15 at 9:36
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    As a conclusion to this story, all student adopted the same strategy, which was to produce a tutorial that was good enought to get a passing grade, but was unusable on the website anyway because of poor quality (bad sound, glorified powerpoint...). The school didn't used the video, and the tutorial website has since been closed because there was no content and no student willing to produce some for them. – user7327 Nov 8 '16 at 12:57
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I'm pretty sure in France you have moral rights and copyrights. I am writing from New Zealand, but we have some similar intellectual property laws due to being member countries of the World Intellectual Property Organisation. We are also both member countries of the World Trade Organisation (WTO has the TRIPS agreement which relates to IP). So my answer may or may not be right – check what it says in France's copyright acts: you should be able to search for terms like first owner, and moral rights, films/videos, etc.

The school isn't your employer, and so the basic rule is that you as the author are automatically the first owner. Since you're not really at school to create anything or research for the school, I don't think the court would enforce a blanket term that you had to agree to that the school owns intellectual property in what you create. You probably own the copyright.

You also have moral rights in what you have created, which means even if the school does own the copyright in your work, you can request they attribute it to you if they show it in public (online). Not all works have moral rights. However, in NZ if you create a film/video you do have moral rights in it.

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