Syllabus: Copyright Statement

Recommended Copyright Statement for Syllabi

In 2016, Deans and Department Chairs sent out the Copyright Committee’s recommended copyright notice for syllabi.  The statement is as follows:

Notice of Copyright

Materials in this course—unless otherwise indicated—are protected by United States copyright law [Title 17, U.S. Code].  Materials are presented in an educational context for personal use and study and should not be shared, distributed, or sold in print—or digitally—outside the course without permission.

As a student your ability to post or link to copyrighted material is also governed by United States copyright law.  The law allows for students to post or link to copyrighted materials within the course environment when the materials are pertinent to course work.  Instructors—or other staff of the institution—reserve the right to delete or disable your post or link if in their judgment it would involve violation of copyright law.

Why is the statement important?

The statement is meant to cover three issues:

  1. Inform students that some use and sharing of copyrighted materials is permissible within the course environment.

The law allows for students to post, link or use in assignments copyrighted materials within the course environment when the materials are pertinent to course work.  Copyrighted materials may be used for personal use and study.

  1. Sharing, distributing and selling course materials outside the course environment infringes on copyright.

Students have shared and sold MVCC course materials outside the classroom, including tests and assignments, on websites such as Course Hero.  At least one faculty member who tried to take down the materials ran into obstructions by Course Hero requesting repeated documentation even after it was supplied.

Information about Course Hero:

The statement informs students that all course materials including faculty content and those supporting materials used in the course are protected by copyright.

  1. The college reserves the right to delete or disable postings or links that involve violation of copyright law.

The college is protected under the “safe harbor” provisions of United States copyright law Sec. 17 U.S.C. § 512(k) (2) limiting monetary liability if it removes access to materials that infringe copyright.  To meet the requirements for “safe harbor” a statement is included that informs students that materials deemed to be infringing will be taken down.

If you have any questions regarding copyright or the syllabus statement contact the co-chairs of the MVCC Copyright Committee, Cindy Anderson, anderson@morainevalley.edu  and Lee Semmerling, semmerling@morainevalley.edu

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