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Faculty Notice: Commercial Note-taking

From: 
Mary Lee Hummer, Vice Provost for Faculty Development
Sent: 
Thursday, August 4, 2016, 8:50 a.m.
To: 
KU Lawrence Faculty

Dear Colleagues:

Commercial note-taking entities such as StudySoup.com and StudyBlue.com are actively soliciting KU students to participate in commercial note-taking as a way to earn extra money, sometimes misleading them to believe the university has endorsed the activity. It is possible that notes from one or more of your classes are being sold online as a part of a commercial venture.

The university has adopted a policy on Commercial Note-Taking Ventures to provide guidance on this issue and protection for your intellectual property rights. This policy gives instructors the decision-making authority to determine whether they will allow commercial note-taking in their classes. (Note-taking provided by a student volunteer for a student with a disability, as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, is not the same as commercial note-taking and is not covered under this policy).

Instructors who choose to forbid commercial note-taking in their classes should explicitly state so within their syllabi. In such cases, the following syllabus language is recommended:

Pursuant to the University of Kansas’ Policy on Commercial Note-Taking Ventures, commercial note-taking is not permitted in [insert course name and number]. Lecture notes and course materials may be taken for personal use, for the purpose of mastering the course material, and may not be sold to any person or entity in any form. Any student engaged in or contributing to the commercial exchange of notes or course materials will be subject to discipline, including academic misconduct charges, in accordance with University policy. Please note: note-taking provided by a student volunteer for a student with a disability, as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, is not the same as commercial note-taking and is not covered under this policy.

Should you find that class notes and/or materials from your class are being sold through a commercial venture and you desire to have those materials removed from the site, you are encouraged to take action to have the material removed. For further assistance in handling these matters, you may contact the Office of the General Counsel.

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