[Bcoel] Math problems - copyright and OER

Lovsin, Darcye A. lovsind at douglascollege.ca
Thu Jul 4 10:55:36 PDT 2019

Hello BCOEL,

I have a copyright/OER question that has me stumped.

The math department is creating an open textbook and were told that math problems are 'facts' and therefore are not protected by copyright. They want to confirm if this means they can use commercial textbook math problems in their OER. (Thank you Lindsay for locating where this information may be from: a US Copyright Office Publication<https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ31.pdf>). Unfortunately, I have been unable to locate Canadian specific information on copyright and math problems, or if how 'original' the math problem is matters.

My initial reaction is that, even if a math problem is 'fact', there is still work and originality that goes into creating math problems for commercial textbooks. Has anyone helped create a math OER that has some insight?

>From my understanding the problems are calculus problems, so heavy symbol/number based instead of language heavy.



Darcye Lovsin
Head of Reference Services

Douglas College
New Westminster Campus
T 604 527 5189
lovsind at douglascollege.ca<mailto:lovsind at douglascollege.ca>


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