Copyright violation?

Is this graduate course Theory and Practice of Teaching Writing at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez violating copyright laws?

It's not my practice to tell others about others about copyright problems. If I did, I would have no time for anything else in my life. But I was curious. This was a graduate course on writing that was posting chapters from books on the Internet. Obviously, they would know about copyright law. Did they have permission to do so? I posted a comment, or tried to, yesterday, just noting that if they didn't have permission, posting these chapters out of books would be violating copyright law. But I see today that my comment is not there. It does make me wonder. Wouldn't a course on teaching writing be interested in such an issue?

A related issue, at least for me, is that of plagiarism. As a teacher of writing at a university, I feel it's important to teach students what it is and how to avoid it. At the same time, I wonder about instructors who go into a tizzy over plagiarism. I wonder if they photocopy materials out of books that aren't in accord with fair use guidelines. Quite a few do. What's interesting is that while inappropriate and not conducive to learning, plagiarism is not illegal while violating copyright is. Yet, I've never seen a teacher get upset over photocopying past fair use.

Apparently, publishing companies don't always get permission for the materials they use, either. Mike Dunford caught Reed Elsevier copying his content without permission (from Stephen Downes).

So, although I'm concerned about students plagiarizing and cheating (It's not conducive to learning), I'm not sure that the Net Generation, as Valerie Milliron and Kent Sandoe in their article "The Net Generation Cheating Challenge" at Innovate (requires free registration), really have a "disregard of societal norms." Just read the news in New Jersey: Almost every month, I'm reading about some politician being indicted—not to mention politicians at the federal level. And, of course, we could talk about Enron and many others. Although I'm aware of the increase in cheating researched by McCabe, I wonder if the Net Generation is just more open about what they do than politicians, corporations, and the average older person are.