University prof says students can't sell notes from his classes because it violates his copyright

Michael Moulton, a prof at the University of Florida, is suing a company tha republishes his students' notes from class, because he says that taking notes on his classes and selling them violates his copyright.

Those notes are illegal, Faulkner and Moulton contend, since they are derivative works of the professor's copyrighted lectures.

If successful, the suit (.pdf) could put an end to a lucrative, but ethically murky businesses that have grown up around large universities to profit from students who don't always want to go to the classes they are paying for.

The suit could also have ramifications for more longstanding businesses such as Cliffs Notes, which summarize copyrighted novels.

Faulkner Press publishes two e-textbooks that Moulton wrote and uses in his classes, and sells its own set of class notes for the course.