The company StudeerSnel, founded in 2013 by students from Delft, offers its services worldwide, it says, to 50 million students. On the website, the company offers thousands of lecture slides, notes, summaries and assignment elaborations. Some of the items offered are free, while some require a subscription. However, they too become free once you donate a document yourself.

StudeerSnel has told the website Silicon Canals that it does not allow copyrighted material, such as old exams or books, to be uploaded to the website. But according to Erasmus University, the copyright of study manuals, exercises and lecture slides written by lecturers also belongs to the university and therefore should not be uploaded. Therefore, the university wants StudeerSnel to proactively prevent copyright violations.

Too far

According to StudeerSnel, the requirement to proactively prevent this is taking things too far. “We now take material offline within 24 hours if we hear it infringes copyright”, CEO Reynald Fasciaux told Silicon Canals. Fasciaux calls the copyright on lecturers’ material ‘complicated’, since universities and thus their lecturers are largely funded from taxpayers’ money. Students’ notes based on lecturers’ materials are legal, according to the CEO.

EUR’s request, he said, would mean StudeerSnel would have to ‘filter and block all material uploaded by Erasmus students’. This may mean that the website will stop offering materials for Erasmus University students.

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