Who can own and use his/her history of WBT?


TATSUMI, Takeo (Kobe University)
MAENO, Joji (Waseda University)
KUSUMOTO, Noriaki (Waseda University)
HARADA, Yasunari (Waseda University)


Recently, highly developed information technologies have been introduced to the methodology of managing classes. Especially, Web Based Traning(WBT), the idea of Computer Assisted Instruction(CAI) using web browser as an interface, will be actively researched as a learning environment. We think many products based on WBT are likely to be shipped to the market soon.

Moreover, with the improvements of prosessing performance of personal computer, WBT coursewares are being able to be customized personally, automatically and dynamically to fit historical data of learning.

However, historical data of learning is privacy data, and it’s fair use has to be discussed. Also, we have to discuss on a problem that whether the learning histories are legitimately copyrighted material or not, and whose properties are they.

In this paper, our proposal centers that the learners’ copyright and privacy must be divided into “Moral right” and “Use right.” First, we point out three topics, then we conclude with our proposals.

First, the copyrights made in learning is against Japanese copyright law, and two big problems exist here.

In Japanese, the term of “learn” is said as “manabu” which has the origin of the meaning of “imitate” that is said as “maneru.” Actually, when a learner acquire knowledge, only small part of knowledge are acquired, finding the comparison with knowledge which has been acquired already. Most part of learners’ knowledge are imported from others. It is hard to admit the right of the property on knowledges. The imitation is not avoidable in learning so that we cannot refute the opinion that learning is violating the copyright law.

In addition, there is a problem that the violation of the moral right cannot be avoidable even if the treatment of the copyright of the imitation in this case is interpreted as “Private use”. In Article 20 of the Japanese copyright law, a violation of copyright is admitted by 33:1 or 34:1. However, 33:1 is supposing reprints in educational books for subjects and 34:1 is supposing the broadcasting TV/radio program for school education. Moreover, it is described clearly that the limitation of the copyright does not apply to moral right in Article 50.

To customize courses efficiently, and personally for each learner, it is necessary that the mechanism that the results made in the learning process are transformed, translated or automatically forwarded to the courseware development company and the system management company. For instance, in the exercises of English composition of the filling words type, although the original sentences is protected by copyright law and moral rights, a WBT modifies the original sentences and transforms the sentences through the Internet. The answers of learners’ are also protected by copyright law and moral right, but these are also transformed through the Internet.

Therefore, it is necessary to change the concept of the copyright and a moral right to adjust a new learning environment. For example, in the use of the copies with a learning equipment, it is necessary to limit the copyright and the moral right. Also, the re-distribution of derivatively produced material made by the learning process should not be admitted. Although the arguments are arising in Japan to catch such concept, the separation of “Moral right” and “Right of use” is not well discussed enough. Moreover, there are against groups that wants to defend past rights and interests related to the copyright.

Secondly, there is a problem of the handling of personal information which affects the learning. WBT development companies and organizations using those WBTs should never leak personal informations, and a system that gurantees this security is needed. In this paper, we propose to set up “Third party organization which handles the proof experiment” to confirm the effectiveness of the teaching material and the protection of learners’ privacy. In the United States, there are third party organizations between pharmaceutical companies and hospitals. Those organizations prevent companies from intentional modifying of results in new drug experiments. Just like this, an organization which mediates between the WBT development companies and the schools is necessary to stop the needless circulation of individual information.

Thirdly, when a course is designed based on the behavior of a specific learner, the published courseware afterwards may inevitably include the personal informations collected in the experiment or development work of the courseware.

For instance, information such as “this tester’s score for some kind of questions is higher than others'” may sometimes relates to tester’s personal information. In Japan and China, every students becomes to be able to write the their name with Kanji characters even if those characters are difficult for other students. Kanji vocabulary of a child is region dependent to a certain extent. Moreover, family structure of a tester and his/her parent’s jobs also influence the tester’s learning history. If the parents manage a grocery store, it is possible that the calculation ability of the child in money is high. There are many kinds of such factors. This type of leaking personal information cannot be prevented even if there is a system that keeps tester’s name and address from being leaked to the public.

If use of such personal information is prohibited, the WBT development becomes impossible. However, if such individual information can be freely used, the privacy protection becomes practically invalid. In this paper, we propose to define “the customization for a personal use” that includes use of personal informations mentioned above. We also propose the new rule : “Do not use the learners’ history other than softwares with the learning function used to customize couseware automatically and personally.” With this rule, it becomes impossible for one’s course material to depend on other’s, while it’s still possible to customize courseware personally.