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Home > UW Policies > UW Owned Works > Risk

Risk

Risk arises through:

  • Intellectual property infringement
  • Product liability

  • Libel

  • Breach of contract

Whenever materials are prepared, copied, or displayed, or distributed, there are both potential benefits and risks. Authors and producers often focus on the benefits - use by the public, royalty payments from publishers, shares in lucrative start up company - and fail to adequately consider the risks that attend opportunities.

There are a number of risks, including copyright, trademark, patent infringement; misappropriation of trade secrets or other proprietary information; product liability; libel; breach of contract; tortious interference; and ethics violations under Washington State's Ethics in Public Service Act. While in any particular circumstance, the risk may appear remote, the costs that arise, both in time and money, are often substantial.

Developing software that can circumvent a copyright protection measure in digital products such as CDs or video games risks violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), even if the developer is unaware of this potential use of his or her software or if it has other uses besides circumventing the copyright protection. If the other uses of this software are not substantial, it may be deemed to violate the DMCA.

Consequently, designing software that accesses other software or Web creations requires careful consideration and planning.

The State Attorney's General Office directs all responses to alleged infringement according to UW policy on behalf of the university.

 

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