The intellectual property policy is an unfair to students.
Improvements could be made by removing the "has bearing on a class the student is currently taking" clause, which is ambiguous and would be easy for the school to exploit in nearly every case; adding an exemption to claims on IP developed using any "school resources" for the campus internet, to which all students have alternatives, but the use of which is certainly convenient; and removing the burden of proof from the student as far as school resource use is concerned.
Also, it seems a little silly to claim all IP developed by ALL school employees, RA's and janitors included.
USG is still looking into this and we will direct this issue to our advisor.
Our Board of Trustees representative, Jerry Miller, is looking in to details about the policy and history of why it was implemented. Will get back when we have more info!
@Nice Guy: Given a casual reading, it would seem that they were trying to write a policy that fits your "in a nutshell," which I agree is what it should be.
However, there are certain key protections for the student (e.g. specifically exempting from definition as "use of facilities" things like electricity for laptops, being in a facility and using non-technical equipment like chairs and desks; explicitly placing the burden of proof for essential use of facilities on the school; removal of the "has bearing" clause; and specifically relinquishing claims on the work of student-employees in non-technical positions, except for those claims that apply to all students) that are either not specific enough to prevent abuse or are absent from the policy entirely. This is what needs to be fixed.
In response to your "Regardless..." comment, why should scale matter? This policy has the potential to wrong someone and the moral cost of having it fixed is neglible. Why not fix it?
Nice Guy commented
I don't think the policy is as agressive as you think. In a nutshell, your IP is your own unless you're under an employment or research contract with the university. Regardless, what important, valuable, world-changing IP have Mines students created that they're afraid of getting "jacked" by the university? I can't think of many.
One more exemption that would make sense: building use/being on school property. Yeah... I should have thought this through a little more completely ere my initial post.
Students should simply be EXEMPT from the IP policy. The students are paying the university for use of the facilities here, it is patently ridiculous that work arising from use of such facilities should become the property of CSM. We have already compensated CSM for our use of the facilities, it's called "tuition". We pay money, we get use of the facilities, it's that simple.
Also, school electricity could be used to take IP from students the same way internet could be. Electricity (for laptops) should have an exemption from the "school resources" bit as well, or nobody at Mines will ever own a patent.
Oh, here's the link to the policy in question.