An excerpt from Jeffrey Tucker nails it. To teach at a college or university is to engage in an ancient and very worthwhile endeavor: the teaching of others. To do so, one must be opposed to the concept of “intellectual property”.:
…how do you at once enforce intellectual property and uphold the ideal of a university, which is, after all, about teaching and spreading ideas to others?
There are two possible ways out of this problem in a digital age: open source or IP. The open-source model has been adopted by MIT, on the one hand, which has made its entire curriculum open source and freely available online. This is a fairly straightforward approach, which finally gets down to the reality that what MIT is charging for is not so much the education but the degree itself. Clarity at last.
Another approach is the one taken by Harvard and, most explicitly, by the University of Texas, which has suggested that professors make the following contract with students:
My lectures are protected by state common law and federal copyright law. They are my own original expression and I record them at the same time that I deliver them in order to secure protection. Whereas you are authorized to take notes in class thereby creating a derivative work from my lecture, the authorization extends only to making one set of notes for your own personal use and no other use. You are not authorized to record my lectures, to provide your notes to anyone else or to make any commercial use of them without express prior permission from me.
You can make “no other use” of what you learn? Really? That sort of smashes the whole point of education, doesn't it?
The goal of the university is to spread knowledge, not to grant a one-time use for what you learn in the classroom. The aim of an individual student is to gain knowledge that is used in every possible way for a lifetime — and to pass the ideas on to others.