Ownership of Course Materials (including, but not limited to, lectures, lecture notes and materials, syllabi, study guides, and web-ready content):

Unless faculty members have used exceptional University resources to create course materials, they own the copyrights in the course materials they create. The current transition to remote teaching does NOT constitute a use of exceptional resources. When offered exceptional University resources, faculty will be offered a contract that outlines any licensing or copyright requirements. Faculty should discuss the options fully before signing the contract and accepting the resources.

This means that only the faculty member and anyone to whom the faculty member has granted permission may reproduce, distribute or display (including digitally posting or uploading) course materials.  See the University of California’s 2003 Policy on Ownership of Course Materials: http://copyright.universityofcalifornia.edu/resources/ownership-course-materials.html.

Recordings of Course Presentations (including notes and audio/video recordings):

With the following exceptions, no entity or individual may give, sell or otherwise distribute recordings of course presentations:

  • Students enrolled or auditing a course may give their own recordings to other enrolled/auditing students.
  • The Disability Services Center may grant the accommodation of providing course recordings to students with a disability.

See the University of California’s 2005 Policy on the Use of Recordings of Course Presentations: http://copyright.universityofcalifornia.edu/resources/recorded-presentations.html.

Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Course Materials:

  1. Post your materials only on a platform that is password-protected and only accessible to registered and enrolled students.
  2. Advise students that your course materials and your course presentations are protected and that students may not share them except as provided by U.S. copyright law and University policy. You should consider sharing this information with students in your first class meeting, on your course website, and on your syllabus.  You might use the following language:

“My lectures and course materials, including PowerPoint presentations, tests, outlines, and similar materials, are protected by U.S. copyright law and by University policy.  [include a link to: http://copyright.universityofcalifornia.edu/resources/ownership-course-materials.html]  I am the exclusive owner of the copyright in those materials that I create.  You may take notes and make copies of course materials for your own use.  You may also share those materials with other students who are registered and enrolled in this course.

You may not reproduce, distribute or display (digitally post/upload) lecture notes or recordings or course materials in any other way—whether or not a fee is charged—without my express written consent.  You also may not allow others to do so.  [include a link to http://copyright.universityofcalifornia.edu/resources/recorded-presentations.html]

If you do so, you may be subject to student conduct proceedings under the Code of Student Conduct, Section 102.23.  [include a link to: https://aisc.uci.edu/policies/pacaos/grounds-for-discipline.php]

Similarly, you own the copyright in your original papers and exam essays.  If I am interested in posting your answers or papers on the course web site, I will ask for your written permission.”

  1. Include a notice on every page of your course materials (in a header or footer) that they are protected by copyright:

“© Faculty Name 2020”

If you also include your UCI email address, people who want to ask your permission to use your materials will be able to contact you easily.

  1. If you are concerned about students posting materials to CourseHero, know that CourseHero has advised UC counsel that its filtering tool will, in nearly all instances, prevent the upload of materials that include this sentence in a header or footer:

“This content is protected and may not be shared, uploaded or distributed.”

  1. If you find that your material has been uploaded to CourseHero, police your copyrights by sending a DMC takedown notice using the CourseHero takedown portal at: https://www.coursehero.com/copyright-infringement/

This usually takes about five minutes, and once a valid takedown notice is submitted (which is why you should use the portal), CourseHero has a duty to act “expeditiously”—usually 2-3 days.