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Appeals Court: Course Syllabi Not Public Records

COLUMBIA, Mo. — A federal appeals court has ruled that course syllabi are exempt from Missouri’s open records law because they are the intellectual property of faculty members.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the ruling by the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District on Tuesday was in response to a motion filed in October 2012 by the Washington-based National Council on Teacher Quality.

The education group requested the University of Missouri system disclose syllabi under the state’s Sunshine Law, but the appeals court ruled that the syllabi’s disclosure was protected by the Federal Copyright Act.

System spokesman John Fougere says the university is pleased with the ruling and had taken its stance against releasing the syllabi out of respect for the rights of the faculty members who created them.

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