Author Archives: Gerald Barnett

Penn State’s Protection Racket, 17: Academic Freedom

Here’s the opening of Penn State’s policy on academic freedom (HR 64): Academic freedom refers to the environment provided by the University that permits faculty members to engage in their scholarly pursuits of teaching, research, and related activities at institutions … Continue reading

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Penn State’s Protection Racket, 16: Entrepreneurial Activity

We worked through Penn State IP policies past (1940, 1991) and current, looked as well at the weirdness that is the IP Agreement (from 1992 and current), and discovered that for all that apparatus–poorly conceived and drafted–the only formal requirements … Continue reading

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Penn State’s Protection Racket, 15: The Moloch Administrator

The current Penn State IP Agreement preserves many of the problems of the 1992 version, which we have previously discussed. Let’s look at the new, modern problems that the current IP Agreement adds to the mess. PSU IP–The IP policy … Continue reading

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Penn State’s Protection Racket, 14: Assignment and Present Assignment

Here’s Penn State’s current IP Agreement’s sort-of assignment clause: In so agreeing, I especially acknowledge my responsibilities: (1) to assign and do hereby assign to the University (or its designee) all rights which I have or may acquire in inventions, … Continue reading

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Penn State’s Protection Racket, 13: Condition or Consideration?

The Penn State IP policy makes signing the current IP Agreement a “condition of employment.” But the IP Agreement itself asserts that the agreement is “in consideration” of “employment/ appointment/association.” Somehow things are reversed. In a normal employment relationship, payment … Continue reading

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Penn State’s Protection Racket, 12: Policy and Contract

Policy in a university distributes authority, identifies purposes, and establishes procedures. Policy, for instance, establishes the conditions for faculty appointments. But the actual appointment of a given faculty member requires an act by an administrator on behalf of the university. … Continue reading

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Penn State’s Protection Racket, 11: The 1992 and current IP Agreements

We have been through a lot of Penn State policy now. We have looked at the 1940 IP policy, the 1991 IP policy, and the current IP policy. We have also looked at the 1992 IP Agreement and compared it … Continue reading

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Penn State’s IP Protection Racket, 10: Copyright

The new Penn State IP policy preserves the start of the 1991 policy paragraph that takes up copyright, but adds additional garbleness. No longer are authors “urged” to use university management services. Instead: University-directed works are those created at the … Continue reading

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Penn State’s IP Protection Racket, 9: Rationalizations

Penn State’s new IP policy adds a “Note” that attempts to rationalize the requirements of the policy. The 1991 policy also had a “Note” in the same location, but that note was directed to an entirely different purpose, having to … Continue reading

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Penn State’s IP Protection Racket, 8: Disclosure

We are working through Penn State’s current IP policy. We have noted that the IP policy asserts that the IP Agreement, which many categories of people must sign, requires assignment of IP to the university, but the IP Agreement itself … Continue reading

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