Davis Faculty Association

Archive for February, 2000

Lecture Notes Protection Legislation

In response to the joint concerns of the California Faculty Association (the CSU faculty’s union) and the Council of UC Faculty Associations (of which the Davis Faculty Association is a member), Assemblymember Gloria Romero has introduced AB 1773, which deals with the intellectual property rights of faculty members with respect to classroom presentations in California’s three public, post-secondary educational systems. (Dr. Romero, the Assembly Whip, is a former Professor of Psychology at CSU Los Angeles.)

Under existing law this bill would apply to the University of California only if the Regents, by appropriate resolution, make its provisions applicable.

The bulk of The Legislative Counsel’s Digest of AB 1773 reads as follows:

AB 1773, as introduced, Romero. Intellectual property: ownership.

Existing case law provides that in the absence of evidence of agreement to the contrary, a teacher, rather than the institution for which he or she teaches, owns the common law copyright to his or her lectures.

This bill would provide that a faculty member of the California Community Colleges, the California State University, or the University of California has an exclusive ownership in any presentation, as defined, in a classroom, laboratory, library, studio, or any other place of instruction, performance, or exhibition, notwithstanding any law or provision of contract to the contrary.

The bill would prohibit any person from recording or making any use of a presentation or transfer the record of the presentation to a third person without the prior written permission of the faculty member. (N.B.: At the request of the UC Faculty Associations, an amendment is being prepared that will allow students who are formally enrolled in a class to take and share such course notes with their classmates.)

The bill would permit any court of competent jurisdiction to grant such relief as is necessary to enforce its provisions, including the issuance of an injunction and the recovery, from a nonstudent, of a civil penalty, as specified.

The bill would require the Regents of the University of California, the Trustees of the California State University, and the governing board of every community college district to adopt or provide for the adoption of specific regulations governing a violation of these provisions by students, along with applicable penalties for a violation of the regulations, and to also adopt procedures to inform all students of those regulations.

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