I am Marsha West. I live on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. I am a consultant and work in the areas of online facilitation and moderation.
When I wrote my first course for the Virtual High School there was a written agreement that course content would be owned by me as author, by my school district, and by the VHS.
Later in the history of VHS, they changed that policy so that VHS owned the content of courses.
But it has been interesting to me since I took materials I had created for my f2f classes and translated them to the online venue. To what extent do I still own those documents? I don't know.
I don't own my home or my real-estate rental property since it's all mortgaged. I owe one more payment before I own my truck - and I believe I do own my Chrysler T&C. Technically I don't even own my dogs since the breeder still has co-owner status and control of breeding rights. Actually, though I think the dogs own me.
I have always thought I owned my ideas - my unpublished writing (when it's published at least part of the ownership transfers to the publisher). Not sure now.
I am concerned about what I see in the academic world where undergraduates are borrowing, cutting, pasting, and appropriating the work of others and calling it their own. The PowerPoint versions of research papers are rife with what's always been considered plagiarism - and students are insulted when challenged on this.
Looks like we are caught in an involuntary paradigm shift -- like it or not, things are changing.