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CSU System Bans Online Note-selling Services

Written on October 20, 2010 by Japhet Writ

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NoteUtopia received a cease-and-desist order from the California State University System, stating that the site violates the provision of state education code. But be that as it may, many students would still like a note-sharing system.

Ryan is an undergraduate of Sacramento State University and founder of NoteUtopia. The provides students a mechanism to buy, sell and share their university course notes. However, the company received a cease-and-desist letter from the , stating that the service violates the provision of state education code. According to the said provision:

“No business, agency, or person, including, but not necessarily limited to, an enrolled student, shall prepare, cause to be prepared, give, sell, transfer, or otherwise distribute or publish, for any commercial purpose, any contemporaneous recording of an academic presentation in a classroom or equivalent site of instruction by an instructor of record. This prohibition applies to a recording made in any medium, including, but not necessarily limited to, handwritten or typewritten class notes.”

The officials also e-mailed the students from all 23 universities, warning them that selling their notes online is subject to discipline — including expulsion from the university.

And albeit Stevens already complied to the letter, he is still not pleased with the message that the system has disseminated. For Stevens, warning the students as above mentioned is like demoralizing a website that offers more than just a marketplace for the students. NoteUtopia is meant to function as a supplement, and not as a replacement, for offline education. Stevens also pointed out that sororities and fraternities have long had systems for sharing course materials among their members. However, it’s still clear that more students are interested in working together online — be it in an open forum or marketplace like NoteUtopia.

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