|Approved on July 31, 2003||Signatures and dates
on archival copy
Director of Legal Affairs
|Herman ("Butch") Hill, Chair
Policy and Procedure Review Committee
Vice President for Administration
From the beginning, United States copyright legislation has had the complementary purposes of protecting the intellectual property of authors while promoting access to useful information. As an educational institution, Ohio University seeks to balance scholars' rights as authors with its fundamental mission to promote the free exchange of ideas and research results. To this end, Ohio University urges faculty to publish their scientific and technical research and other types of scholarly research results in journals supported by universities, scholarly associations, or other organizations sharing the mission to promote widespread, reasonable-cost access to research information.
For the purposes of this policy, a work will be considered a "work for hire" if the work is supported by a direct allocation of funds through the University for the pursuit of a specific project, is commissioned by the University, or is otherwise subject to contractual obligations that define it as an Institutional Work.
This policy covers all faculty of the University including part-time faculty as well as faculty participating in the early retirement program. In the case of part-time and early-retiree faculty, the policy will apply only in relationship to the work being performed for the University.
Where publishers' marketing practices could restrict widespread access to research results, individual retention of copyrights to research articles and other forms of scholarly works will ensure that faculty maintain their rights individually or collectively to disseminate this information, as appropriate, to colleagues, students, and the public at large, using existing and emerging print and electronic technologies. Current copyright law specifically gives the owner the right to reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative versions, and to perform or display articles or other works, as long as the copyright is not totally assigned to another.
Where faculty retention of copyright is not possible, authors should at minimum negotiate to retain specific rights to reproduce and distribute the work for educational and research purposes, including:
Institutional Works can be created for University purposes in the course of special employment, or may result from simultaneous or sequential contributions over time by numerous employees or students. For example, software written by programmers who are hired to write software for others (as distinct from research collaborators who write their own software) is "work for hire" as defined by law (regardless of whether the work is in the course of externally-sponsored research, University research, or non-research activities), as is software developed for University purposes by students and staff working collaboratively. Ohio University owns all rights, intellectual and financial, in such works. On the other hand, if a graduate student writes software to analyze data for his or her thesis research, or a researcher agrees with the other investigators to write software that analyzes their data, that is not "work assigned to a programmer," and therefore is not a "work for hire," and therefore not an Institutional Work.
When university resources are invested, either Ohio University or the faculty will own the copyright. In most circumstances, faculty ownership or university ownership will be easily determined. However, when significant university resources are involved, a prior agreement should be used to establish ownership, avoiding unclear situations. University grant announcements will include statements when the university expects to own the copyright. Lacking this statement, the copyright will be owned by the faculty. For further illustration of such situations, see the next two sub-sub-sections.
Given the varying roles that might be played by the university and the faculty member in the development of such materials, and in consideration of the rapidly changing state of distance-education programs and technologies, it is unlikely that a single copyright principle can be clearly established in these cases. It is therefore useful, and essential, for the rights both of individual faculty members as well as of the institution, that all decisions regarding the ownership, control, and use of such technology-enhanced courseware and materials, as well as any decision on appropriate compensation be negotiated in advance and established in a prior written agreement.
Special academic courseware may require periodic review and revision. See Policy 15.006, "Ownership and Utilization of University-Sponsored Educational Materials." The agreement between the author(s) and the University must specify a period of time after which the material should undergo review or revision.
After the completion of the specified time period, the University will not further use the academic courseware until it has been reviewed. If the academic courseware is being used exclusively by the author(s), determination of its use beyond the specified time period is his or her responsibility, unless otherwise defined by the agreement. If the material is being used by others within the University, its use beyond the terms of the agreement will require written approval of the author(s), which will not be unreasonably withheld.
These committees shall include a meeting with the Vice President for Research, or his or her designee, in the review process.
Computer databases, software, and firmware, and other copyrightable works owned by the University, are licensed through the Technology Transfer Office.
No other college, departmental, or program name is to be used in the copyright notice, although the name and address of the department to which readers can direct inquiries may be listed below the copyright notice. The date in the notice should be the year in which the work was first published, i.e. distributed to the public or any public audience. If the work is revised (e.g., an updated Web page) the year should be the year in which the current version was first published.
Works may also be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office using its official forms.
"Trade secret" is a legal term referring to any information, whether or not copyrightable or patentable, which is not generally known or accessible, and which gives competitive advantage to its owner. Trade secrets are proprietary information and are generally not subject to public disclosure under Ohio open records law and a determination under the law will be made in consultation with the Office of Legal Affairs.
Subject to various exceptions and limitations provided for in the copyright law, the copyright owner has the exclusive right to reproduce the work, prepare derivative works, distribute copies by sale or otherwise, and display or perform the work publicly. Ownership of copyright is distinct from the ownership of any material object in which the work may be embodied. For example, if one purchases a videotape, one does not necessarily obtain the right to make a public showing for profit.
Notwithstanding rights provided to owners of intellectual property under the copyright law, the "fair use" of copyrighted works for purposes of criticisms, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made in any particular case is a fair use, the factors to be considered include:
None of the four factors set forth in the law is conclusive, and the weight to be given to each will vary in each instance.
The duration of copyright depends on the date the work was created and on whether it was a "work for hire." Please consult the Legal Affairs staff for up-to-date information on the current applicable law.
Dick Piccard revised this file (https://www.ohio.edu/policy/15-015.html) on March 18, 2016.
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