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Week: #6 Mini-Report #3

Recorder: Karrah Cunningham
Elaborator: Rouwaida Mahmoud
Explorer B: Dana Payne

Team Name: Bella Luna
Coordinator: Laurie White
Explorer A: Laurie White
Ethical Problem Scenarios #3 and #5

Ethical Standards Scenario
Ethical Problem Scenario #3
Struggling School. You have just been hired as a technology specialist working in a secondary school. As
you begin to work you discover that the school does not have proper licenses for most of the software
being used in the student computer lab. It is a poor school and the principal and teachers are already
stretching their creativity to the limit in order to provide a decent education for these young people. They
would not be very happy if you made an issue of some picayune problem with their software licenses.
What do you do?1
In this scenario, the school violated the copyright agreement. The technology specialist needs to
document which software is being used illegally, make the principal aware of the situation, and find
options available. They may purchase a site license for the software, or find free software to perform the
same function. The technology specialist also needs to ensure students can meet instructional goals with
all recommended software.2
By informing the principal, the technology specialist is acting in accordance with the Association
for Educational Communications and Technology’s (AECT’s)3 Code of Professional Ethics, Section 3,
Part 8, which states, “In fulfilling obligations to society, the member: (8.) Shall inform users of the
stipulations and interpretations of the copyright law and other laws affecting the profession and encourage
compliance.”4
Any illegally installed software should be removed from the student computers. Though the school
is struggling financially, it does not have the right to violate copyright laws, in this case U.S. Copyright
Law Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 106: Exclusive Rights of Copyrighted Works.5 The school’s copying and

1 This scenario is modifications of the original scenarios designed by Dr. Molenda at Indiana University.
2 Reiser, Robert V.; Dempsey, John V. (2011-03-14). Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (3rd Edition) (Page 343).
Pearson HE, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
3 Reiser, Robert V.; Dempsey, John V. (2011-03-14). Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (3rd Edition) (Page 342).
Pearson HE, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
4 “Code of Professional Ethics,”Association for Educational Communications and Technology, http://aect.siteym.com/members/group_content_view.asp?group=91131&id=309963
5 United States Copyright Office. (2010). Copyright Law of the United States of America and related laws contained in Title 17 of the United
States Code. Washington, DC: U.S. Copyright Office. http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#106.

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use of the software does not meet the requirements needed to fall under the U.S. Copyright Law Title 17,
Chapter 1, Section 117: Limitations on exclusive rights: Computer programs.6 This violation may impose
a much higher cost to the school than the cost of the purchasing the necessary software licenses.
In addition to suggesting alternative free software, the technology specialist could research the
availability of demo versions of the software. The school could seek help from the community to
purchase licensed software. This could be a grant or fundraiser targeted to improve the school’s
technology.
If the school administration refuses to comply with the copyright law by removing unlicensed
software or purchasing site licenses, the technology specialist will be faced with a decision to continue
working for the school, and thus go against their professional code of ethics, or to quit the job at the
school, thus losing their current income source.
Ethical Problem Scenario #5
Realistic Recycling. As a free-lance consultant, you develop and teach a course on “How to Implement
Intranet Training” for Blue Circle Pharmaceuticals in Louisville. They pay you $16,000 for the course; the
contract includes a statement that Blue Circle owns the rights to presentation of this course. Six months
later, Superior Foods in Monterey asks for a course that is somewhat similar, but not the same. You feel
you can “recycle” about 50% of the material used in the first course. You are considering accepting the
job and charging Superior Foods the same amount, $16,000. Any problem?7
In this scenario, Blue Circle Pharmaceuticals purchased a course on intranet training for their
employees. Intranet information is specific to a given company, therefore the information contained in
the training is not in the public domain. Blue Circle requested the statement to own the rights to the
presentation of this course in all likelihood because it contained proprietary information that they did not
want shared with the public. Though Superior Foods may use similar intranet information, the free-lance
consultant needs to carefully design their training so as not to appear to use any material the free-lance
consultant developed under contract for Blue Circle.
Recycling any part of the course materials would violate AECT’s Code of Ethics, Section 1, part
4, which states, “In fulfilling obligations to the individual, the member shall conduct professional
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United States Copyright Office. (2010). Copyright Law of the United States of America and related laws contained in Title 17 of the
United States Code. Washington, DC: U.S. Copyright Office. http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#117.
7 This scenario is modifications of the original scenarios designed by Dr. Molenda at Indiana University.

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business so as to protect the privacy and maintain the personal integrity of the individual.”8 What is
perhaps more applicable is that AECT Definition and Terminology Committee’s clearly articulated
importance of “adherence to the copyright law and the assurance of responsibility to inform others of the
regulations of the law.”9 In this case, the free lance consultant is advised to obtain permission in writing
from Blue Circle Pharmaceuticals for reuse of any materials that were developed in support of Blue
Circle Pharmaceuticals presentation.
Recycling the material from Blue Circle would also violate the ISPI Code of Ethics which state
that in order to cultivate trust, designers must, “Maintain a high level of trust with my clients, colleagues,
and others with whom I may come in contact by avoiding activities that create actual, apparent, or
potential conflicts of interest.” The ISPI Code of Ethics includes an integrity principle as well. This says
designers, “Do not use information for any personal gain or in any manner that would be contrary to the
law or detrimental to the legitimate and ethical objectives of the client’s organization”10
The legal ramifications could be detrimental to the consultant’s career if he is sued for copyright
infringement by Blue Circle because of the re-use of materials developed while under contract with Blue
Circle. Superior Foods could conceivably have to stop the use of its course, and could, in turn, sue the
consultant as well. As a result, the consultant could lose much more than the $32,000 he earned
developing the course for these two clients.
Therefore, the instructional designer should respect the agreement he signed with Blue Circle.
Instead of recycling the material, he should protect the intellectual property that belongs to the Blue
Circle, and build a new course with content specific to Superior Foods.

8 “Code of Professional Ethics,”Association for Educational Communications and Technology, http://aect.siteym.com/members/group_content_view.asp?group=91131&id=309963
9 Reiser, Robert V.; Dempsey, John V. (2011-03-14). Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (3rd Edition) (Page 345).
Pearson HE, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
10 International Society for Performance Improvement http://www.ispi.org/uploadedFiles/ISPI_Site/About_ISPI/About/Code-of-Ethics.pdf

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