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Instructor-Created Course Materials

Teaching materials prepared by instructors, such as syllabi, examination questions and answers, notes, PowerPoint and other presentation slides, and videos used in Georgetown University courses are the intellectual property of the creator of the material. Under United States law, copyright protection is automatic from the moment an original work is fixed in a tangible form (e.g., saved or printed). No copyright notice or registration is required for course materials to have copyright protection.

As the owner of the copyright in their course materials, course instructors have the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, modify, make derivative works from, and post and display publicly their course materials. Posting, exchanging, or selling course materials are all prohibited by law and University policy, yet numerous faculty have found that their copyrighted course materials are available on commercial sites, such as Course Hero, without their knowledge or permission.

Students may not upload course materials for public distribution, or use course materials in any way beyond academic uses in connection with the course, without permission from the course instructor.

Below are recommendations for Georgetown faculty and students regarding the appropriate use of teaching materials created by course instructors. 

Faculty

To protect your course materials:

  • Include a statement on your syllabus about the appropriate use of course materials and ensure that students know where they can find additional information about copyright law.
  • To alert students and others that your course materials are protected by copyright, include a notice in your course materials (e.g., © 2021 [your name]).
  • Include your name and Georgetown affiliation on each page of your course materials so they can be easily identified.
  • Submit DMCA takedown notices if you find unauthorized course materials on Course Hero or other sites.

If you choose to share your course materials openly, we suggest using established Open Educational Resources sites. Please contact Meg Oakley, Director, Copyright and Scholarly Communication, if you would like to discuss OERs.

Students

Be aware of your responsibilities when using course materials: