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Legality of teaching a course from W3Schools


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Hi everyone,


I'm currently a student of a Canadian college, taking a program in software engineering. One of our courses is about web development, and this website has been referenced repeatedly.


It seems to me that this whole course was created by going through the w3schools tutorials for html, asp, ajax, etc. Examples we have been given to look over have been directly copied from the website as well. There are no textbooks for the course, all of our references have been online.


Ethically, I'm not happy with this, as I feel like I'm being asked to pay for online resources that would have been free to me anyway. But that aside, I'm wondering if it is even legal what they are doing. It would seem that they are making money off of your free online resources which doesn't seem right to me.


So I guess I'm wondering:


1) Is it legal to accept money to teach a course using w3schools as the material?

2) If they are allowed to but need permission, how can I find out if they have gotten permission?

3) Specifically, is it legal to copy the contents of a w3schools example to a text file, modify the variable names and comments, then distribute it to a college course without mentioning that the source was w3schools?


It'd be great if someone who knew these specifics could get back to me on this, or point me towards someone who could help me,



A Concerned Student


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I do, as the copyright information says this:

"All pages and graphics on this web site are the property of the company Refsnes Data.

Pages, code or other content from W3Schools may not be redistributed or reproduced in any way, shape, or form without the written permission of Refsnes Data.

Failure to do so is a violation of copyright laws."

To my knowledge, the code is being reproduced and redistributed by the college

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That possibility, though unlikely, is the reason I've included

2) If they are allowed to but need permission, how can I find out if they have gotten permission?

in my original post. I obviously don't have the answer to that, which is why I'm asking.

For obvious reasons, I am not willing to simply ask my college if they are breaking the law.


Could someone with the ability to find this out please contact me, or pass my name along to someone who can help me with this?

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Hello ConcernedStudent,


From my understanding, the actual developers/designers/peoples' of w3schools.com rarely come on the forums. Maybe they do from time to time but not likely. Best to contact them directly and one possible way is via this link: http://www.w3schools.com/about/about_advert.aspThe link is for advertising on their site but it also mentions "Other Questions" can be asked as well. Hopefully that is a way for you to get in touch with them. Good luck!


Edit: After looking around a bit more, I found they have an address you can email at: support@w3schools.com

Edited by Don E
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