Inspired by his time at school, Ryan Stevens put his business degree to work. He set up a website that allows students to sell their notes and study materials, as well as communicate with classmates within the community reports the Los Angeles Times.
The site, NoteUtopia.com, which was launched in August, is intended to function as an online community, a place to network, discuss courses and rate professors. But Stevens, 22, has run afoul of a little-known provision of California’s education code that prohibits students from selling or distributing class notes for commercial purposes.
Now, the young entrepreneur is battling the California State University system and claims that students’ rights have fallen through the cracks. The case also touches on who controls the intellectual property of notes taken during class.
“All through school we’re taught not to plagiarize and to use our own words,” said Stevens, who lives in San Francisco. “We don’t think that the government should be able to tell students what to do with their own handwritten notes.”