The DigiPen Institute of Technology has a policy that it owns the copyright in any games its students submit for coursework. At first blush, it sounds outrageous—a digital sweatshop disguised as a school!—but there are in fact non-exploitative reasons for the rule:
“We are not here to compete with the games industry,” [DigiPen president Claude Comair] says. “We are not here for people to come and make a game in a less-expensive manner utilizing equipment and software that has student licenses.”
“Just as importantly, we are not equipped to properly firewall our projects in the sense that we really don’t know legally speaking how many or which students created which games. We don’t know whether they received input from other students who have not been credited.”
“These are just a few of the reasons why we have this policy,” he adds, “but the bottom line is that DigiPen has never sold any of its students’ games nor do we intend to.
Whether you agree or not (and I don’t), it’s an interesting perspective on how IP rights create both gigantic opportunities and gigantic messes.