The Lecture Notes

If you're not already aware (thanks for joining us), I do put my lecture notes online. (Yes, the ones with blanks in them. But this is not about that.) At the bottom of every webpage of lecture notes, there's a little blurb:

This document copyright © 1995-2012 Karsten A. Loepelmann. All rights reserved. Viewing this page is taken as acceptance of the copyright agreement.
Yup, that's right: my notes are copyright, and they are free--free as in free beer, not free as in free speech. I have control over the content, which, actually, is taken from sources that are themselves copyrighted (e.g., journal articles, books, magazine articles, and so on). I am allowed to do this under the provision of "fair dealing" in copyright law; because these resources are being used for educational purposes. But I don't want anyone to "steal" my lecture notes, which are the product of many, many hours of work.

I also don't want anyone to profit from my lecture notes. Every so often, someone gets the bright idea of opening a "notes exchange" or registry of some kind. It's been done on campus at least twice before. You give them the lecture notes you've taken in class, and they pay you. They make money by selling those lecture notes to other students. I don't want students in my class to have to pay to get my lecture notes, and I certainly don't want anyone to have old, outdated lecture notes from a previous term. Now, however, there are several notes-exchange websites on the Internet.

Unfortunately, last term some students uploaded my lecture notes to one of these notes-exchange websites and shared them with others in the class. This was a violation of the terms of service of the notes-exchange website, the terms of use for the online storage site used by the notes-exchange website, the Code of Student Behaviour, and a violation of the copyright of my lecture notes.


The students who did this, said that they did it to be helpful, assisting students who had posted messages on the course eClass message board asking for notes they missed. That is altruistic and commendable. Except for, you know, all of those violations. They could have just posted the fill-ins words on the message board itself, which would not violate anything. Heck, I'm completely OK with that.

If you miss class, you should try and get the notes from someone else in class. That way, you get not only the "fill-in" words you missed, but any annotations or side-notes that the other person has made (look for someone who scribbles coherent notes all over their printouts). For now, though, I've turned off the message boards on eClass/Moodle, sorry.

Why aren't you studying?


Tiffany said...

I've noticed that it just takes one person to start it ("hey guys I am le sick, send me notes plzKthx?"), then everyone follows suit, whether or not they are actually "sick."
Last term I was the nice one and emailed notes out to people in one of my classes. When I was actually pretty sick with the flu however, no one returned the favour.

Karsten A. Loepelmann said...

@Tiffany: I hope you were ultimately able to get the notes you needed. Although I encourage students to try and get missed notes from peers, I realize that that doesn't always work out. In a case like that, I'll be happy to send you the fill-ins that you're missing!

Tiffany said...

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get those notes.
I was, however, lucky that the prof for that course asked nothing that was covered that day on the final! That, or I understood the material well enough not to notice.
(I like to think that I was just *that* prepared, if only to raise my confidence!)

Anastasia said...

I sell your notes every semester on the black market and make literally dozens of dollars. I then use that money to buy myself capes so I can fight such crime as wearing socks with sandals, copyright violations, and putting raisins in cookies BECAUSE THE MADNESS MUST END.

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