This article by Martine Courant Rife (2010) seeks to draw attention to legal issues that educators should consider when designing, implementing, and sustaining GNLEs. Through an examination of the blogosphere and case studies Axact v. Student Network Resources and Turner v. Huston, the author discusses issues of authorship, moral rights, copyright law, plagiarism, free speech/censorship, and defamation and their relevance to GNLEs. The author proposes exploring the idea a “global learning commons” – a space where the sharing of resources, materials, and ideas can take place in the absence of fears of legal or ethical implications, as a potential solution to these dilemmas, and concludes with recommendations for anyone seeking to design and implement their own GNLEs.

In regards to best practices, the author suggests that educators in GNLEs be very explicit in defining plagiarism, taking into account international variances in interpretations of it. Furthermore, the author notes that laws and institutions have varying concepts of authorship and ‘the individual’, and that this needs to be acknowledged when implementing GNLEs, particularly in regards to attribution.

For more, see Rife, M.C. (2010). Cross-Cultural Collisions in Cyberspace: Case Studies of International Legal Issues for Educators Working in Globally Networked Learning Environments.