Horns Up, Horns Down for Dec. 6

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Horns Up: UT changes intellectual property rule

On Thursday, The Daily Texan reported that the UT System will revise its Intellectual Property (IP) Policy to clarify its language on the ownership of student ideas and creations. Currently, the policy guidelines apply to System and University employees without clearly addressing the property of students. The Senate of College Councils hopes that these legislative changes will encourage more students to create and develop software and applications — both of which fall into a gray zone regarding IP rights. Juan Sanchez, the University’s vice president for research, said that to his knowledge the University had never claimed a student's work as its own. Still, we hope the policy changes will encourage more students to develop their ideas without worrying about the University claiming credit for their work.

 

Horns Down: Candidates refuse to release tax returns

Only 10 of the 48 candidates running for the major statewide offices of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, comptroller, land commissioner, agriculture commissioner and railroad commissioner released their last three tax returns when requested to do so by the Texas Tribune. Though state officials are not required to disclose their tax returns to hold public office, the financial reporting rules for candidates and lawmakers in Texas are fairly lax: Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University, referred to them as “Swiss cheese reporting requirements.” 

By disclosing tax returns, candidates can give voters a clearer picture of  any potential conflicts-of-interest that could sway their lawmaking once voted in. While we respect the privacy of the candidates, we feel comfortable prioritizing the openness of the political process in Texas. Rather than thank the candidates who turned over their returns — because, ideally, doing so would be a no-brainer — we’ll stick with expressing our disappointment in the candidates who refused to comply with the Tribune’s request.