The Official Kunvay Blog

Learn how to navigate copyright and intellectual property ownership smartly so you own your work, and own your future.

Copyright to Class Notes: Do Students Own the Copyright to Their Notes?

Photo Credit: Notes by Brady Withers used under CC BY 2.0.

Even as a law student, the very idea of who owned the copyright in the written notes I took in class was not something that ever occurred to me, let alone whether I was actually committing an infringing act by lending the notes to one of my friends.

Admittedly, this was way before copyright permeated into nearly everyone’s lives via the internet.

Now, a student’s class notes are just as likely to be uploaded to blogs, websites and forums, or even distributed as e-books.

They can be shared, not just between a few friends in class, but with an infinite number of people on the World Wide Web.

This has led some US states and universities to take steps limiting just what students can do with their class notes, which raises the question of whether students, or lecturers own the copyrights?

Universities and Publishers Clamp Down On Class Notes

This clampdown seems to be partially in response to the widespread and lucrative business of students selling their class notes to website publishers who make this material available to others for a price.

It is now such a problem that universities have Continue reading