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Note sharing website receives cease-and-desist letter

On Thursday SF Appeal reported on the new social network NoteUtopia.com receiving a cease-and-desist letter from California State University’s chancellor’s office, saying the site violated California and CSU educational codes.

NoteUtopia lets students create discussion groups, post questions, receive feedback from professors and, most controversially, lets students buy and sell notes, study guides and exams. The site keeps 40 percent of the profits and has a minimum asking price of 99 cents.

California and CSU education codes keep students from selling any “contemporaneous recording,” including handwritten or typed notes. If caught, they are subject to disciplinary action. Chancellor’s office associate director Ray Murrillo told SF Appeal, “students can be subject to sanctions, suspension, all the way up to expulsion from the University.”

NoteUtopia’s founder and president, Ray Stevens, fresh out of Sacramento State, told the Appeal: “If a student is taking notes and writing it down in their own words, that’s their work.”

Meanwhile, the commotion surrounding the cease-and-desist letter has more than tripled the visits to the site. Stevens told the Appeal, “If anything, the letter did a lot of good for us.”