Date: Wednesday, April 21, 2021
We have heard concerns regarding a clause in the Eval21 Reimagined: A Virtual Experience proposal submissions form. I would like to provide some clarification to what I believe is a misinterpretation of the intellectual property clause in the abstract submission portal.
The American Evaluation Association has been using this clause, which was developed in collaboration with AEA's attorney, for the last few years. AEA does not sell individual conference session recordings. We do not distribute session content outside of the conference. The reference to “selling” is there in order to be transparent about offering access to the conference content in exchange for a fee, i.e. the conference registration fee. The reference to “worldwide distribution” refers to access by our international members and constituents.
The conference is virtual, so it is recorded. We must disclose that the sessions are being recorded, and speakers must agree to be recorded in order to participate. We cannot record anyone without permission. We also continue selling access to the virtual conference for three (3) months after the live virtual conference. The fee is the same, and this provides opportunity for members to have extended time to view the virtual conference.
AEA has had legal action taken against us because of a copyright issue regarding someone using PowerPoint slides from someone else without permission during a conference presentation. It is not our intent to assume ownership of materials or prevent anyone from presenting it somewhere else at any time, or for us to profit from anyone’s work. However, it is our intention to provide protection for AEA if someone acts in this unethical manner in the future.
As a non-profit association, our revenue is generated primarily through events, programs, and sponsorship, and we strive to keep membership dues as low as possible so that members are not bearing the financial weight of sustaining the association. AEA respects the intellectual work and contributions of our members, and would NEVER seek to procure anyone’s intellectual property for our financial gain.
AEA has made changes to the proposal submission form to clarify the language so that it is not misleading. We understand your concern, and the importance of respecting the rights of our speakers, especially historically underrepresented groups. We will work to ensure clarity and build trust for important matters such as these in the future. Your membership and support is invaluable and we thank you for your understanding.
Thank you to everyone who provided feedback. It is members like you who keep us moving forward and toward our goals. In addition to the edits that we have made to the agreement, our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group will be anchoring a DEI audit of us to surface where our systems and processes may be signaling something that is not aligned with our values.
AEA Executive Director