GAINESVILLE, FLA. (CN) – A company that sells lecture notes taken by college students has been sued by the company that electronically publishes a professor’s textbook. Faulkner Press, which publishes University of Florida Professor Michael Moulton’s e-text for his class on wildlife conservation, sued Einstein’s Notes for copyright infringement. Einstein’s owner Thomas Bean told the University of Florida student newspaper that the university sued another company unsuccessfully on similar charges in 1996, and lost when an appeals court ruled that students’ notes are not professors’ intellectual property.
Plaintiffs claim in this case that Einstein’s Notes copied practice questions from Professor Moulton’s Web site and copied handouts published by Faulkner.
Also sued is Einstein’s corporate parent, Class Notes.
“It is not OK to repackage and market for profit intellectual property belonging to professors, without their permission,” Faulkner Press’ attorney Jim Sullivan told the Gainesville Sun.
The University of Florida sued A-Plus Notes on similar charges in 1996. Faulkner Press, which also publishes lecture notes, with professors’ permission, says it does not aim to drive its rival out of business, but to establish that companies cannot publish such notes with permission from the professors. It says it will donate any money it wins in this case to the University of Florida departments at which the alleged infractions occurred.
Faulkner Press has created a Web site dedicated to this case: thefutureofhighered.org