Educause who have done a calm and comprehensive forensic job on the copyright issues in MOOCs
Optimism is their note: a discussion can sort out all the issues. Not so sure. As they point out, the MOOC by its scale, extent, and ownership is headed for a clash with the old assumption that faculty holds the rights in its content. There is institutional copyright, and even student copyright.
The small print in the T and Cs you sign when you enter a MOOC as a student is scary:
By submitting or distributing User
Postings to the Site, you hereby
grant to [provider] a worldwide, nonexclusive, transferrable, assignable,
sublicensable, fully paid-up, royaltyfree, perpetual, irrevocable right and
license to host, transfer, display, perform, reproduce, modify, distribute,
redistribute, relicense and otherwise
use, make available, and exploit your
User Postings, in whole or in part, in
any form and in any media formats
and through any media channels (now
known or hereafter developed)
Educause in the end ducks the questions: my text-finder locates 22 question marks, and none of them is answered.
Fair Use is the only regime that seems to hold any hope for a copyright solution to using third party material in MOOCs, but here Educause admits that a Fair Use justification would depend on the use of the material being "transformative" rather than "cut n paste".
If MOOC contributions are, at least for the most part, derivative copying - then there is trouble ahead.