Licensing of Papers and Recordings

On Feb. 15, a post on X offered to license academic recordings and student papers from the University of Michigan in order to train or tune large language models.

The post was sent out by a new third party vendor that has since been asked to halt their work. Student data was not and has never been for sale by the University of Michigan.

The content referenced in the post includes papers and speech recordings that had been voluntarily contributed by student volunteers participating, under signed consent, in two research studies, one in 1997 – 2000, and a second in 2006 – 2007. None of the papers or recordings included identifying information, such as names or other personal data.

These particular papers and recordings have long been available for free to academics – again without any identifying information – and have been used as a tool to improve writing and articulation in education.