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Improper Distribution of Course Materials Policy


The University at Buffalo (the "University") has an interest in preserving the rights of faculty in their intellectual property, respecting the integrity and effectiveness of the educational experience, and protecting the privacy rights of students and faculty in course offerings.

This policy establishes a procedure under which faculty may, at their discretion, restrict the distribution of course materials prepared or assigned by them.

This policy in no way expands, limits or otherwise modifies any and all rights established pursuant to Article XI, Title J of the SUNY Board of Trustees and Policies.

Distribution of Course Materials

There is an emerging trend in which students are presented with opportunities to provide and sell course materials developed by faculty to companies that post and/or sell those materials without the author's permission. Many members of the University faculty are concerned that posting and selling course materials without the author's permission violates the intellectual property rights of the authors, and degrades educational quality and the classroom experience by promoting a lack of direct participation in coursework and facilitating the ability of students to use the work of others to complete course requirements.

Instructors may prohibit the distribution of course materials by including notice in the course syllabus. This prohibition will not be effective or enforceable unless an explicit written directive is provided to the students in the course.


Students who violate this policy will be required to complete an educational sanction about the value of intellectual property. More serious and/or repeat violations of this policy may be treated as acts of "academic dishonesty" under the Academic Integrity Policy or subject a student to disciplinary charges under the Student Code of Conduct.

Published: Jan 25, 2023 08:02:23