I have some doubts about reusing some material from Coursera for a set of lecture notes that I put online as part of the courses that I am lecturing. In some ocassions I use some Coursera material, mostly exercises that are based on source codes provided by the authors, and referenced them in my lecture notes. The question that I have is that if need to ask for permission, to the lecturer that is given the course on Coursera, to reuse his/her material or only with referencing would be enough?

2 Answers 2


Coursera's terms of service state that students can only access course materials for their own purposes; they are not meant to be distributed more widely.

Also they have

Even if you are the creator of published content, you do not necessarily own copyright.

This means that you have to directly contact Coursera and ask the question from them.

  • 1
    No matter what the copyright says, it may fall under fair use. No idea if it does, though.
    – Davidmh
    Jan 20, 2016 at 14:37

About 18 months ago I assisted a professor at the institution I was with with the same question. The short answer is: contact Coursera about the material you wish to use and they will put you in touch with either the instructor or the institution that owns the IP (or both) to make sure all permissions are covered.

Additionally, Coursera was extremely helpful at setting up a private instance of the course that the prof's students could access, that he could modify, and that all assignments came into. Going through official channels takes a bit of extra time, but is well worth the effort.

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