California universities make new moves in fight on notes

Sacramento Bee


California State University and University of California campuses are taking new steps to limit what students can do with their class notes: At least one CSU, Chico, student recently was reported to judicial affairs for selling notes to a website, and a newly updated UC Berkeley policy restricts how students share their notes with others.

The policies raise questions about whether instructors or students have copyrights to the notes students take in class. While the California Education Code prohibits students and others from selling class notes -- and many campuses have policies that also ban unauthorized note-selling -- critics say students, not instructors, own the copyright to their own notes.

"Given the amount of money students are paying to go to school right now, to ... confront them with these policies and say, 'You don't even have the right to use your own notes any way you want,' seems to be the wrong message to be sending," said Jason M. Schultz, assistant clinical professor of law at UC Berkeley and director of the university's Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic. 2/2/2012