The information on this page is intended to address the issue of sharing of course materials like PowerPoint slides or lecture notes to a public website for commercial or noncommercial purposes. While you simply may not want your intellectual property to be shared outside the classroom, another important consideration is the use of copyrighted content in course materials.
If the third party copyrighted content appearing in your course materials is a short except being used for education purposes or you have received the copyright owner’s permission, then you may post a copy into the University’s secure learning management system where it is restricted to students enrolled in your course. However, having these materials posted on a publicly accessible website is a much greater risk and is not advisable.
Explain the Status of Materials
To help mitigate the risk and explain the status of your materials you could consider adding a statement to your course materials:
“This material is provided for educational purposes as part of <Course Name> at the University of Windsor. Third party copyrighted materials have either been licensed for use in this course or fall under an exception or limitation in Canadian Copyright law. Sharing this material to a third-party website can lead to a violation of Copyright law."
- Any written or visual material an instructor produces is automatically copyrighted, and an instructor may pursue any violator of that copyright whether or not a notice is placed on the course material.
- If you find your copyrighted material on a note sharing or commercial study prep service, you can request that the site remove your materials.
- If you would like help with drafting a "take-down" notice please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also a helpful guide on drafting notices available from Brock.
Open Course Materials
We also recognize that some faculty wish to encourage more open access to information and may not wish to discourage students from sharing course materials widely. If your course materials don't contain third party copyrighted materials you may wish to facilitate open sharing by applying a Creative Commons license to your work. They are in widespread use in government and educational institutions and affirm an open approach to knowledge sharing. To procure a CC license, go to creativecommons.org. For more information visit our Open Education page.
Thanks to Queens University Library from which some of this content was adapted.