Copyright and Intellectual Property

ALWAYS prepare ownership / copyright agreement prior to the development of material whose ownership might be questioned.

Intellectual Property That is Educational Materials
Prepared by: Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research
Approved by:Vice President Jack O. Burns
Application: All Campuses
Effective Date: January 16, 2003
Replaces: N/A

1. Introduction

Creating and disseminating knowledge are fundamental missions for the University of Colorado. The creative environment of the University fosters the development of intellectual property. The objective of this policy statement is to enhance the environment for the development of educational materials and for their commercialization by clarifying the rights, responsibilities and rewards for the University and its employees. The University of Colorado in this policy, as elsewhere, reaffirms its commitment to the principles of academic freedom. The University of Colorado also reaffirms its commitment to encouraging and rewarding authors, creators, researchers and inventors who are developing intellectual property. The University supports the creative works of authors and creators, who will under most circumstances retain ownership of copyright in order to support their creative endeavors. This policy does not change the traditional relationship between the University and employees who, independent from using substantial University resources, are creators or authors of scholarly and artistic works. This policy functions in accord with other University of Colorado policies and federal and state statutes and regulations.

2. General Policy

2.a General Rights of Ownership
Ownership of intellectual property is held by its authors, creators, researchers or innovators, except under the special circumstances as described in this policy and in the Administrative Policy Statement (APS), "Intellectual Property Policy on Discoveries and Patents for their Protection and Commercialization." Ownership and copyrights in scholarly and artistic works such as, but not limited to, textbooks, electronic media, syllabi, tests, assignments, monographs, papers, models, musical compositions, works of art and unpublished manuscripts will be the sole and exclusive property of the creator or author. Exceptions are:

those cases in which the production of such materials is a part of sponsored programs;
those cases in which the materials are created under the specifically assigned duties of employees other than faculty; and
those cases in which substantial University resources were used in creating educational materials.

2.b. Substantial Use of Resource
" Substantial use of resources" means use of university resources that goes above and beyond those that are customarily and currently provided to University employees. University resources include such things as equipment, staff support, supplemental pay, and offloading from regular duties. Decisions about whether use of these resourcesis "substantial" or "customary and current" shall be determined by the department/academic unit, school/college, or campus level, as designated in campus policy. Substantial use of University resources gives the University of Colorado a claim to ownership, in part or in whole, of the intellectual property created by University employees.

2.c. Who is Covered by This Policy
This policy is applicable to all units of the University including its colleges, schools, departments, centers, institutes, and hospitals, and to all University employees including faculty, instructors, and staff. Employees receiving salaries or other remuneration from the University, including part-time employees, student employees, University employees on sabbatical who receive remuneration from the University, and employees on a leave of absence who are using substantial University resources are bound by this policy. The Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research is the University officer who is authorized to approve exemptions to individuals bound by this policy.

Students are covered under this policy under the following circumstances. A student who is not employed by the University or has not used substantial University resources to develop educational materials, will own the materials she or he creates, unless the student's work is part of a larger work over which the University has rights and intends to exercise them. Students who hold awards such as scholarships or fellowships through the University on which a funding body has placed restrictions as to intellectual property of educational materials developed during the course of the award will be bound by this document.

2.d. Rights to Educational Materials

2.d.1. Rights of Authors, Creators, Researchers, and Innovators
Educational Materials created for classroom and learning programs, including electronic media, such as syllabi, assignments, and tests, shall remain the property of the author, creator, researcher and innovator.

2.d.2. Rights of the University of Colorado
The University of Colorado shall be permitted to use educational materials for administrative purposes, such as satisfying requests of accreditation agencies for faculty-authored syllabi, assessments and course descriptions.

2.d.3. Copyright of Professional Journals and Books
Publication of research and/or other scholarly materials and activities typically occurs in professional/academic journals, books, and other professional resources and traditionally requires that the author(s) sign over the copyright to the publisher. Nothing in this policy shall be construed to restrict or constrain these traditions.

3. Written Agreements

3.a. Substantial Use of University Resources
If substantial University resources are used, or their use is anticipated, at any point in the creation of educational materials, then a negotiated written agreement must be signed by the creator(s) and a designated representative from the campus where the educational materials shall be created. It is the responsibility of the author, creator, researcher or innovator to seek clarification of whether the resources being used in the development of educational materials constitutes "substantial uses of University resources." If so, the author, creator, researcher or innovator shall negotiate a written agreement with the University.

"Substantial use of University resources" in and of itself does not require that ownership rights be automatically shifted to the University. However, depending on the terms of the negotiated contract, "substantial use of University resources" may result in an obligation to share revenues, reimburse the University, or confer a license. Ownership rights specified in this policy may be altered by mutual agreement.

3.b. Multiple Parties
If more than one party is responsible for creating specific educational materials, a negotiated written agreement signed by all creators and the University shall be required. That agreement shall usually specify (1) the rights of each party to use, distribute, and sell the materials; and (2) the division of revenues between the parties. Parties may include but are not limited to individual creators, research teams, external funding agencies, the University, etc.

3.c. Commissions by University Contract or Explicitly Designated Job Assignments/Agreements
Works specifically commissioned by University contract (also known as "work for hire") or done as part of an explicitly designated job assignment other than normal teaching responsibilities or falling outside the scope of paragraph

2.d.1 of this policy shall be the property of the University.

4. Process

4.a. Negotiated Written Agreements

4.a.1. A negotiated written agreement will usually specify:

the rights of the creator and the University to use, distribute, and sell the materials;
the division of revenues between the University and the creator;
the rights of the University to use and to modify the materials during and after the period of formal association with the University; and
the right of the creator, the University, and/or external funding parties to be acknowledged or to withhold acknowledgement in the distribution or modification of the materials by the University.

4.a.2. Modifications to Agreements

Any negotiated written agreement made in connection with the creation of educational materials may be modified at any time upon the unanimous agreement of all signatories. Such modifications will normally be necessary when changes occur in any of the following:

participation of authors, creators, researchers, or innovators in a continuing project;
the University's contribution of substantial resources; or
when a dispute is taken to the Educational Materials Intellectual Property Board for adjudication

4.a.3. Educational Materials Intellectual Property Board

The University shall establish a system-wide Educational Materials Intellectual Property Board composed of faculty, administrators, staff, and students, to hear and recommend resolution of disputes related to educational materials intellectual property to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research, with final recourse to the University President. The Educational Materials Intellectual Property Board also interprets and oversees the implementation of the policies stated in this document and may advise the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research about exemptions under this policy.

4.b. Reporting Requirements

Any person formally affiliated with the University shall be obligated to report in a timely manner any efforts to create educational materials that might fall under the authority of University policies, including this policy; the APS, "Conflict of Interest Policy"; and Regent policy, "Use of University's Name in Advertising." Such reporting shall be to the direct supervisor, and, if deemed appropriate by the supervisor, to the University Technology Transfer Office.

5. Review of Policy

The University System Faculty Council and System Administration shall jointly review the operation of this policy three years after its adoption and shall report its effectiveness and any suggested changes to the policy to the Board of Regents.

This is the site for the Digital Millenium Copyright Act

Consortium of College and University Media Services:

This list is open to anyone and is valuable because many of the contributors are attorneys.

American Library Association

Stanford University:

University of Maryland: