Copyright Information

Copyright Information

File Sharing




The University of California is committed to upholding U.S. copyright law. As an internet service provider under the meaning of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the university does not monitor its networks for the purpose of discovering illegal activity. However, the university pursues a set of ongoing initiatives to ensure that copyright, particularly as it applies to digital assets, is respected within the university community.

UC's copyright website provides information about copyright, including appropriate vs. inappropriate uses of copyrighted material. The information includes frequently asked questions (FAQs) about copyright ownership and using copyrighted material, and links to pertinent University of California policies. 


Appropriate and Inappropriate Uses of Copyrighted Materials

Copyright law allows for the “fair use” of copyrighted materials for purposes of teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a complex subject. Please see the UCSC Library site on Fair Use and Copyright and UC's What can I use? for information.

When you upload or distribute copies you make of copyrighted works, or when you download or acquire unlicensed copies of copyrighted works, you may be infringing someone else’s rights. If this is the case, you are breaking the law and could be subject to University and/or criminal sanctions. See UC Santa Cruz’s File Sharing and Copyright page and Copyright Information for Students for more information.

Course Materials and Lecture Notes

Course Materials
Instructors own the copyright to their course materials under UC's Policy on Ownership of Course MaterialsIf a company has posted and is distributing course materials without permission, instructors should contact the Office of Campus Counsel for guidance on drafting a complaint. Instructors can search for the company in the DMCA Designated Agent Directory to determine where to send their complaint. The UCSC Copy Center has a copyright clearance service available for all faculty and staff on campus to assist with ensuring course materials follow copyright laws.

Lecture Notes
Please note that students may be disciplined for selling, preparing, or distributing course lecture notes for any commercial purpose, whether or not they took the notes. The unauthorized sale of lecture notes (and handouts, readers, or other course materials) is a violation of campus policies, state law and may also constitute copyright infringement subject to legal action.

UC Santa Cruz Plan for Combating Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Materials

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) P2P provisions require universities to develop and implement “written plans to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material by users of the institution’s network without unduly interfering with the educational and research use of the network.” UC Santa Cruz’s plan can be found at UCSC Plan for Combating Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Materials.