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Canadian Faculty Union Warns That Student Postings of Lectures Could Violate Copyright Law

The faculty union at the University of Manitoba, in Canada, sent an e-mail message to its members this month alerting them to a popular Web site where students are sharing course materials, including what the union calls professors’ “intellectual property.”

In the e-mail, the union defines intellectual property as “lectures, course notes, laboratory materials, exams, and other works created by members for their class,” which cannot be published without the author’s permission. The e-mail encourages members to warn their students that posting any of the above materials is prohibited by law.

Students can legally share their own notes from a class, but taping a professors’ lecture and posting that to a Web site is a violation of copyright law, argued James L. Turk, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, in an article in the Winnipeg Free Press.

The Web site, LocAZu, is open to any university student in Canada with an e-mail address and is run by various students.

The union’s office is closed for holiday break so members were not available to comment.

[Creative Commons-licensed photo by Jim Reynolds]

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