For each lecture of a course, a couple of students are assigned to scribe the lecture, as part of the course requirements. Can the instructor choose any license he wants for the scribe notes? E.g. CC BY-SA 4.0 or CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 in case the instructor is considering compiling and releasing the scribe notes publicly and is fine with people re-sharing them? Or are students entitled to decide under what license the scribe notes should be? I am mostly interested in the United States but curious about other countries as well.

  • 2
    That's a matter of exactly what your contract is with the students, and what copyrights/licences your school deems acceptable. You need to talk to the school's legal department.
    – keshlam
    Sep 1, 2015 at 19:29
  • @keshlam OK but I think the situation is quite similar in any US school, and subsequently making the information publicly available would be interesting. Also, what instructor-students contract are you referring to? Sep 1, 2015 at 19:31
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    I doubt it's similar enough to do more than a poll here, and poll questions are considered out of scope. Different states, different implied rights and obligations. Different schools, different explicit policies. Ask locally.
    – keshlam
    Sep 1, 2015 at 19:34
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    @keshlam Do US schools have explicit policies on scribe note license? I haven't seen any yet. Any example? Sep 2, 2015 at 0:11
  • 1
    Remember, US schools are VERY far from being a single system. Each will decide for itself what policies apply here.
    – keshlam
    Sep 2, 2015 at 1:59

1 Answer 1


I'd ask the students to transfer any copyright to me, formally if need be. In any case, the scribe is writing down what you are writing on the board, so the contents is morally yours in any case.

Presumably the result will undergo wide edition by you, so this is mostly moot.

[A student did transcribe my scribblings a while back; some things got misunderstood or I plainly messed up, a lot of cleanup was needed, and for the next version I added several examples and clarifications.]

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