Syllabus Language about Sharing Course Content

You Can Take Steps to Protect Your Course Materials. 

The following are steps you can take that will help you protect your materials (excerpt from Provost Hexter's letter on Guidance on Copyright of Course Materials at UC Davis on March 25th, 2020).

1. Post your materials only on a platform that has been approved by UC Davis and that is password-protected and accessible only to enrolled or auditing students, for example, Canvas. 

2. Advise students that your Course Materials, including recordings of your course presentations, are protected and that students may not share them except as provided by U.S. copyright law and University policy. You can share this information with students in your first class meeting, on your course website, and in your syllabus. Here is some sample 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. I am the exclusive owner of the copyright in those materials I create. You may take notes and make copies of course materials for your own use. You may also share those materials with another student who is enrolled in or auditing this course. You may not reproduce, distribute or display (post/upload) lecture notes or recordings or course materials in any other way — whether or not a fee is charged — without my express prior written consent. You also may not allow others to do so. If you do so, you may be subject to student conduct proceedings under the UC Davis Code of Academic Conduct. 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.”

3. If applicable, you should advise your students in your first class meeting, on your course website, and in your syllabus that your Zoom sessions, including student comments, are being recorded. This will provide notice to students of the recording in order to protect student privacy in the event that there is an impermissible posting. 

4. Indicate on the first or every page of your Course Materials (in a header or footer, on PDFs and in Canvas) that they are protected by copyright: “© Faculty Name 2020” 

5. Include your UC Davis email address so that people who want to ask your permission to use your materials will be able to contact you easily. 

6. 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 the header or footer: “This content is protected and may not be shared, uploaded, or distributed.” 

7.  If you find that your material has been uploaded to CourseHero, assert your copyrights by sending a DMC takedown notice using the CourseHero takedown portal. 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. Please note that similar websites have not made this explicit commitment, but we do still recommend adding such header or footer to your uploaded content if you are concerned about asserting your copyrights. 

8. If you learn that a student has posted material in violation of UC policy, you may report that student to the Office of Student Support and Judicial Affairs

When creating and recording materials for remote instruction, you also need to attend to the copyrights of others. The UC Davis library provides guidance on Fair Use of files, images, audio, and video.