Copyright battle enters the classroom

Nothing irritates professors more than the thought of students lolling around the dorms, playing video games in a drunken haze, munching on Cheetos, and missing class… then showing up for the exam and doing mysteriously well—especially when the grade is a result of course notes and test answers that they purchased online. While there’s certainly a case to be made for crafting exams that can’t be aced by memorizing an answer list found on the Internet, Dr. Michael Moulton of the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida also thinks there’s something to be said for suing the companies that offer such services. Moulton’s publisher, who has turned his course lectures into e-books, is going after “Einstein’s Notes” offered online to UF students, on the grounds that they constitute copyright infringement.

The case, filed earlier this year in federal court, notes that Moulton has been at pains to copyright his lectures and other course materials (including film study questions). He scrupulously takes notes on his own lectures, records them as audio files, and seeks copyright on them. These lectures have formed the basis for the e-books Wildlife Issues in the New Millennium and Global Perspectives in Biodiversity Conservation, published by Faulkner Press, which you’ve probably read. (ArsTechnica)

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