University copyright policies

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  • The university our library is connected to is currently small, but it is growing very quickly. We're trying to find some way to write a copyright policy to cover both library use and outlining the necessary rights concerning anything that our professors design for the university, such as curriculum design or computer programs (we do not have a department for scientific research so our copyright policy doesn't need to be quite *that* advanced). We're unsure how to go about writing this or getting it written, however. Is it the sort of thing we should consult with a lawyer about and let him write, or can we do it ourselves after the fashion of someone else's policy? If we can do the latter, does anyone have any recommendations for copyright policies we can look at?
  • I'm affiliated with a community college. My advice would be to write your own policy, based on others, and run it by a lawyer.

    If one of the university librarians doesn't provide you with a better answer in a couple of days, I will try to give you some more suggestions.
  • I would say you should go ahead and write a policy that covers library use and other uses of copyrighted materials for educational purposes, then run it by a lawyer, as AFry suggested.

    I would, however, stay away from issues of faculty work.

    The university as a whole, and professors as a group will have strong opinions about faculty work, and whether any of it is covered by the "work for hire" clause, and if so, to what extent. I think this is something best decided in a faculty forum. My college has a faculty union, and issues of Intellectual Property are being talked about between Administration and Faculty. Our copyright policy has not touched it.

    Hope this is helpful in separating what I think are two very different types of policies.
  • Here's the UT System policy, initially written by Georgia Harper.
  • I will add- at the University of Texas, faculty usually own what they create. There are some exceptions, but those are covered in the policy.

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