Library news

Illegal uploading of educational content to 'note-sharing' sites

Posted: Friday 19 October 2018

‘Note-sharing’ sites have been set up around the world.  StuDocu in the Netherlands and Course Hero in the US are particularly active.  They encourage students to upload content related to educational courses and offer the students incentives for this action. In doing so, students expose themselves to potential legal repercussions if they are not the rights holder of the content.  The activity could lead to student disciplinary action, both for copyright infringement and for receiving payment for the uploading of University-owned content.  

Copyright of unit readings, book chapters and journal articles, lecturers handouts, exam questions and answers, or any learning and teaching content is either owned by the University, or rights for teaching use have been granted through a licence or fee.  Students DO NOT have the right to use these materials in any other way. Placing these items online through ‘note-sharing’ sites ie Course Hero or StuDocu is a clear infringement of copyright or licence agreements and may result in legal and/or student disciplinary action.  

FedUni material has recently been located on StuDocu and Course Hero.  The Library is working with DVC(A) Professor Andy Smith and A/Professor Kim Dowling, Chair Academic Board, to address the situation.  The Library has commenced issuing takedown requests, however copyright legislation varies country by country, and in the Netherlands, for instance, this mode of sharing is permitted. 

We seek your assistance in:

a) letting students know that the University does not condone this activity and that the potential consequences are serious.   A FedNews item for students has been posted today.

b) checking if your own material has been posted to StuDocu, by visiting the site below, and contacting Helen Heawood, University Copyright Coordinator   if you find material.

Contact Sue Owen
Director, Library and Learning Spaces
03 53276126