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Rice University Research Policy No. 334

 

COPYRIGHT POLICY

Copyright law encourages the creative efforts of authors, artists and others by providing for exclusive rights to reproduce and distribute copies of the work, to display or perform publicly the work, and to create derivative works.  Generally under copyright law, employers own the copyrights to works produced by employees in the course and scope of their employment, unless the employer has a policy that provides otherwise.  It is the intent of the University under this policy to foster the traditional freedoms of faculty members, staff researchers, and graduate and undergraduate students in matters of publication and dissemination of scholarly, educational and creative works, and to facilitate the academic interests of the University in the continuity of research and educational programs.  To do so, this policy provides that faculty members, staff researchers, and graduate and undergraduate students own the copyrights to works they produce during their academic careers at the University, subject to limited contractual exceptions and, in certain circumstances, limited use rights.  It is the further intent of the University under this policy to clarify that for those employees other than faculty members and staff researchers, the University owns the copyrights to works produced in the course and scope of their employment at the University.  This policy covers all copyrightable works other than computer software, which is addressed under Rice Policy 333 “Patent and Software Policies.”

 

1.   A faculty member (an academic appointment in the professorial ranks, research ranks, or non-professorial ranks under Policy 201 “Faculty Appointments, Promotions, and Tenure,” or other policies referenced therein) owns the copyrights to scholarly works, literary works, art works, architectural works, musical works, syllabi and textbooks that such faculty member produces regardless of the form of expression, and the University retains the non-transferable, perpetual, non-exclusive right to use such works on a royalty-free basis solely for the University’s education, teaching and research activities, except as follows:

 

a.   If a faculty member’s work is subject to a contractual obligation of the University, such as a sponsored research agreement, then the ownership of the copyrights with respect to such work shall be governed by the terms of the contractual obligation of the University.

 

b.   If a faculty member has agreed with the University to produce a specific work for the University, then the ownership of the copyrights with respect to such work shall be governed by the terms of the agreement with the University.

 

2.   A staff researcher (a postdoctoral appointment, visiting scholar appointment, or research scientist under Policy 438 “Research Positions,” other than a research technician as referenced therein) owns the copyrights to scholarly works, literary works, art works, architectural works, musical works, syllabi and textbooks that the staff researcher produces in the course and scope of such staff researcher’s employment with the University, and the University retains the non-transferable, perpetual, non-exclusive right to use such works on a royalty-free basis solely for the University’s education, teaching and research activities, except as follows:

 

a.   If a staff researcher’s work is subject to a contractual obligation of the University, such as a sponsored research agreement, then the ownership of the copyrights with respect to such work shall be governed by the terms of the contractual obligation of the University.

 

b.   If a staff researcher has agreed with the University to produce a specific work for the University, then the ownership of the copyrights with respect to such work shall be governed by the terms of the agreement with the University.

 

3.   A graduate or undergraduate student owns the copyrights to dissertations, theses, papers, literary works, art works, architectural works and musical works that the graduate or undergraduate student produces during the course of such graduate or undergraduate student’s education, and the University retains the non-transferable, perpetual, non-exclusive right to use such works on a royalty-free basis solely for the University’s education, teaching and research activities, except as follows:

 

a.   If a graduate or undergraduate student’s work is subject to a contractual obligation of the University, such as a sponsored research agreement, then the ownership of the copyrights shall be governed by the terms of the contractual obligation of the University.

 

b.   If a graduate or undergraduate student has agreed with the University to produce a specific work for the University, then the ownership of the copyrights shall be governed by the terms of the agreement with the University.

 

c.   If a graduate or undergraduate student’s work is produced in the course and scope of such graduate or undergraduate student’s employment at the University, then the ownership of the copyrights with respect to such work vests in the University.

 

4.   The University owns the copyrights to all works produced by University employees (other than faculty members and staff researchers as described in Sections 1 and 2 above) in the course and scope of their employment at the University.

 

 

                                                

David W. Leebron, President

Previously incorporated in Policy 303-90.

Policy No. 334

Issued:

December 3, 2004