Unauthorized sale of course notes - Faculty

To: UCSC Faculty

From: Mark Cioc, Interim Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education

The issue of students buying and selling lecture notes is an issue throughout the UC system. I write to share with you campus and system-wide actions to inform students about policies and laws that prohibit the commercialization of class notes and to stop companies from enticing students (sometimes deviously) to violate these prohibitions.

Campus Message
The EVC sent a message to all undergraduates on my behalf alerting them that students may be disciplined for selling, preparing, or distributing course lecture notes for any commercial purpose, whether or not the student himself or herself took the notes. The unauthorized sale of lecture notes is a violation of campus policies and state law and may constitute copyright infringement. Students were reminded that the campus Disability Resource Center provides a notetaking service for eligible students with disabilities and were provided info on this service. The actual message follows for your information.
Please contact Doug Zuidema, Director of Judicial Affairs, if you believe that a student has violated campus policies. His contact information is dzuidema@ucsc.edu or 459-4447.
It has been suggested that faculty include this information in the syllabus for future courses. I will draft sample language and forward it to faculty prior to campus closure which may be useful for courses taught in the spring.

Message from Counsel
At the request of Campus Counsel from multiple UC campuses, including UCSC, Senior University Counsel in the Office of the President sent a “cease and desist” letter to the CEO of Notehall.com, one of the companies we believe is soliciting UC students to take notes during classroom presentations for pay, presumably so that the company can further resell them.
Coursehero.com is another company which may obtain materials from students for resale, including past exams. Their practices may violate an instructor's copyrighted material. Since instructors own copyright in their course materials under UC's Policy on Ownership of Course Materials, UC (or UCSC) is not in a position to send “cease and desist” letters on the instructor's behalf.  However, the Office of the President is developing a template for instructors to use in such cases. Please contact the Officeof Campus Counsel at (831) 459-1848 for help in responding appropriately if you learn that your copyrighted course material has been bought or sold.
I hope this information is helpful.