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Home > UW Policies > UW Copyright > UW Copyright

UW Copyright

UW's Copyright Policy addresses:

  • Ownership
  • Control
  • Liability
  • Royalty Sharing

"The University encourages the publication of scholarly works as an inherent part of its educational mission. In this connection, the University acknowledges the right of faculty, staff, and students to prepare and publish, through individual initiative, articles, pamphlets, and books that are copyrighted by the authors or their publishers and that may generate royalty income for the authors." -- University Handbook, Volume Four, Part V, Chapter 7, Section 2A

Overview
University of Washington's Copyright Policy is a part of the University's Patent, Invention, and Copyright Policy in the University Handbook, Volume Four, Part V, Chapter 7, Section 2.

The Copyright Policy applies to all sorts of copyright-protected works, including written materials, film and video works, and computer software. If the primary means of control of software is trade secret or patent, then the Patent-Invention policy applies.

University copyright policy is administered by the Vice Provost of Intellectual Property & Technology Transfer. Information about the policy and copyright management in general is provided by the UW TechTransfer and transactions involving copyright frequently are managed by UW TechTransfer Digital Ventures

Summary
The basic assumption of the UW copyright policy is that University faculty, staff, and students retain all rights in copyrightable materials, including scholarly works, subject to the following exceptions:

  • The work is a “work for hire” under copyright law or the author was commissioned in writing by the University to develop the materials as part of the author’s regularly compensated duties;
  • The University’s staff, resources, or funding was used to develop the work;

  • Conditions restricting copyright privileges are contained in grant or contract funding.

Written Agreements
The Copyright Policy encourages the use of written agreements when there may be questions as to whether works are University-owned, University-sponsored, or privately owned and controlled. The policy recognizes that some works will involve contributions that may involve more than one of these categories, and allows adjustments to the royalty sharing policies to reflect these "proportional" circumstances. In any case, the University asserts royalty-free rights to University-sponsored works.

Students
The University does not assert rights in student work, unless the student is also an employee of the University and the work is prepared in the context of that employment.

Questions
Questions regarding ownership or designation of works should be directed to UW TechTransfer via one's department head or unit director.

Further discussion of royalty sharing, control, liability and management of copyright works created at the University may be found in the UW Owned Works Section.

Full text of the copyright policy
University Handbook, Volume Four, Part V, Chapter 7, Section 2 Copyright Policy

 

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