Copyright Practice and Procedures

While the purpose of the guidelines is to provide procedures to better manage patentable inventions, a note on copyrights is necessary to distinguish between the two, particularly concerning scholarly work. The University encourages faculty, staff, and students to create literary, scholarly, and artistic works and will not assert ownership, interest, or share of the proceeds in the following types of Intellectual Property which are used or created for instructional purposes or as a result of scholarly activity[1]:

·         Publications

·         Textbooks

·         Educational courseware

·         Lectures

·         Recordings [video or audio]

·         Original Works of Art

·         Fiction, including popular fiction, novels, poems, dramatic works

·         Motion pictures and other similar audio-visual works

·         Musical compositions

·         Computer software

Ownership of copyrights of such works rests with the creator(s). However, there are exceptions to this rule such as works that are generated within the scope of the creator’s employment, commissioned by the University, or are subject to a sponsor’s agreement which provides for a different ownership.

The University may engage (“commission”) faculty on occasion to create Intellectual Property for the University’s use or purposes. Under Copyright Law this constitutes a “Work for Hire” (a term of art that does not apply to all typoes of intellectual property and should be applied precisely.) Ownership and creative control of works made for hire wiill be governed by an agreement to be made prior to commencement of work between the University and the creator[2]. Works made for hire may be within the scope of the creator’s normal duties of employment, but the agreement for the development of such work must be commissioned (by the University) and shall provide for ownership to rest with someone other than the creator. Ownership and creative control of works for hire are governed by federal copyright law and the written agreement made prior to commencement of work between the University and the creator. A work-for hire agreement template will be developed by the PASSHE University Legal Counsel. Works created under a work-for-hire agreement may include but are not limited to commissioned research or survey instruments (questionnaires, etc.), instructional materials (including videotapes), and computer software.

University personnel creating such materials are urged to contact the University Authorized Official and designees, for assistance in the copyright process and for subsequent licensing efforts.



[1] APSCUF CBA, 2007-2011, Art. 39. B.2.

[2] APSCUF CBA, 2007-2011, Art. 39. B.9.