The Copyright Policy of Wake Forest University is
- Encourage research and teaching by rewarding
the authors of intellectual works, assisting them in implementing their
ideas, and by providing a system for the encouragement of scholarship
and creative activity;
- Serve the public interest by providing means
through which intellectual works may be made available to the public;
- Protect the rights of the University, its
faculty, its staff, and its students with regard to intellectual works
developed at the University.
II. Definitions of copyrightable
Copyrightable works can be divided into two
categories: "device-like" and "informational." These categories are
defined as follows, taken from the
Inventions and Patents Policy adopted by the Board of
Trustees in February, 1999:
"Inventions" are tangible or intangible
inventions, discoveries or
other innovations, whether or not patentable or reduced to practice.
Inventions include "device-like" software or other "device-like"
copyrightable material, that like a device, is intended and likely to
result in the accomplishment of a task or in allowing the user to
produce, manage, analyze, or manipulate a product, such as data text, a
physical object, or more software. Device-like software or material
acts as a tool or building block in the accomplishment of such a task
or in the creation or management of such a product or result.
Inventions do not include "informational" software or other
"informational" copyrightable material, which may be interactive, to
the extent it is intended to inform or educate the user. In the case of
software or other copyrightable material that is both device-like and
informational, appropriate distinctions will be made in accordance with
the principles of this policy.
Device-like works are governed by the existing
Inventions and Patent
Policy and are not the subject of this policy. This policy only
addresses "informational" works.
III. Ownership and disposition
of informational works
Copyright ownership of all informational works by
employees, or students shall vest in the Author except under any of the
A. Subordination to Other Agreements:
Copyright ownership of all material that is developed in the course of
or pursuant to a sponsored research or other agreement to which the
University is a party shall be determined in accordance with the terms
of the sponsored research or other agreement. In the absence of terms
specifically assigning ownership, the copyright shall become the
property of the University only if the terms of such agreement directly
or indirectly create University obligations as to intellectual property
developed thereunder or if ownership is conferred upon the University
by operation of another provision of this Policy.
B. Work for Hire: The
copyright of material that is created pursuant to a specific direction
or assigned duty (other than the teaching of courses) from the
University or any of its units shall be the property of the University.
However, the author will retain ownership of informational works in
which he or she contributed substantially to the key creative and
C. Use of University Resources:
Copyright ownership of works that are developed with the "Substantial
Use" of University resources, funds, space, or facilities shall reside
in the University. For purposes of this Policy, University resources
include grants, contracts or awards made to the University by
extramural sponsors. The use of University resources is "Substantial "
when it entails the use of University resources not ordinarily used by,
or available to all, or virtually all, members of the faculty. At the
time of formulation of this policy, such ordinarily available resources
include office space and personal office equipment, office computer
workstations, library and other general use information resources, and
the means of network access to such resources. Incidental involvement
of students receiving funding from the University or of Academic
Computing Specialists are also excluded from the definition of
"Substantial Use". However, ownership of scholarly papers will reside
with the author, even if developed with substantial use of University
Works created by students are additionally subject
to the following rules:
- The University makes no claim to copyright
ownership of works created by students working on their own, i.e. not
within the scope of an employment relationship with the University or
with one of its employees, and not making Substantial Use of University
- Students working on a project governed by a
contract or agreement to which the University is a party shall be bound
by the terms of that contract or agreement.
- Students who are hired to perform "specific
tasks" that contribute to a copyrightable work will ordinarily have no
rights to ownership of that work, regardless of the source of funds
from which they are paid. In such cases, the party who owns the
copyright of the rest of the work will ordinarily retain copyright
ownership of the portion contributed by the student.
- Students working collaboratively with faculty
or other employees on projects that result in informational
copyrightable work may be granted the same rights and obligations of
copyright ownership as would another academic employee working
collaboratively on the project. Students and academic employees are
encouraged to establish these rights at the outset of their
V. Resolution of Disputes
The President or his designate shall appoint a
Copyright Review committee composed of faculty from both campuses, and
including one faculty member from the law school. If a question as to whether a title is in
the Author or the University arises with respect to works falling into
the three categories described in paragraphs IIIA-C, the issue shall be
promptly disclosed in writing to the Legal Department for an opinion.
In cases where there is a difference of opinion on ownership of
informational materials or other provisions of this policy, the
Committee will recommend to the President a final disposition. The
President's decision is binding on all parties.
VI. Recognition Of Author's
Desire For Intellectual Control
In recognition of the Author's desire to maintain
intellectual control of his or her work, the University will give
consideration to views of the Author as to disposition of intellectual
property rights when it takes title to a copyrightable work under this
Policy. Where the University owns a copyright under this Policy, the
Author will be permitted to continue to use the work for his or her own
noncommercial purposes. Distribution, if any, to academic colleagues
outside of the University will be permitted under approved written
agreements obtained from the Office of the University Counsel.
VII. Assignment To Author
In cases where the University has copyright
ownership of a work
under this Policy, the University may, upon request and for good cause
shown, assign copyright ownership to the Author subject to a perpetual
royalty free license to the University to use the work for its own
purposes. Such requests should be submitted to the Vice President for
Research and Advanced Studies.
VIII. Requirement Of Disclosure
Works potentially falling into the three
categories described in section III above shall be promptly disclosed by the author in writing to the
Office of the University Counsel for a determination as to whether
title is in the Author or the University. To determine whether a work
described in section III is patentable, it should be submitted to the
Office of Technology Asset Management for an evaluation.
IX. Independent Contractors
Under current law, ownership of works created by
outside consultants and independent contractors could reside in such
individuals and not in those hiring them to perform the work at issue.
Therefore, those hiring outside consultants and independent contractors
should observe the precaution of having a written agreement including
an assignment of copyright. Students and nonacademic employees working
outside the scope of University employment should be considered
independent contractors for such purposes. Assistance in drafting such
agreements can be obtained from the Office of University Counsel.
X. Copyright Royalties
Except in the case of Works for Hire, described in
paragraph III-B above, royalty income received by the University
through the sale, licensing, leasing or use of copyrightable material,
which the University owns pursuant to any section of this policy shall
be distributed in accordance with the distribution provisions of the
University's Inventions and Patents Policy, as amended from time to
time. In the case of such intellectual property owned by the University
pursuant to paragraph III-B, that share of royalties which would
ordinarily be distributed to the creator under the Inventions
and Patent Policy will be deposited in a pool to be used to
support additional research and creative activity.
XI. Responsibilities Of Parties
It is the responsibility of the University and all
members of the University community to ensure adherence to this Policy.
Academic staff and other Authors governed by this
Policy shall have the obligation to:
- Make themselves aware of and adhere to
restrictions on or rights in copyrightable material deriving from
agreements between the University and contracting or granting agencies
or other interested third-parties, or deriving from any University
interest pursuant to this Policy. The University Office of Sponsored
Programs shall assist Authors to be aware of their responsibilities.
- Inform the Office of Technology Asset
Management of material that should be copyrighted in the name of the
University pursuant to the provisions of this Policy, and to cooperate
with the University in obtaining such copyright protection.
- Obtain permission from (whom?)
to publish, in journals or other media, materials to which the
University owns the copyright pursuant to this Policy, such permission
not to be unreasonably withheld.
- Ensure that students or contractors and other faculty and staff
working collaboratively or under their direction (whether or not for
pay) on projects which may result in copyrightable material have signed
appropriate agreements concerning the assignment of copyright to the
Author or to the University, or such other disposition of rights to
copyright as shall be appropriate pursuant to this Policy. Such
agreements shall also clarify to students their rights to include or
copyright any part of the work that they may wish to include in theses
or dissertations. Upon request,
the University Counsel shall assist Authors in this regard.
University officers have the obligation to respond
in a timely
fashion, normally within forty-five days, to written requests pursuant
to this Policy.
The University shall, furthermore, use reasonable
efforts to promote
works to which the University owns the copyright under this Policy.
XII. Copyright Agreements
The policies set forth above constitute an
understanding that is binding on the University, and on its academic
and nonacademic employees, students, and others as a condition of their
participating in University research programs or their use of
University resources. The University may require formal copyright
agreements to implement the policy as appropriate, but the absence of
such executed agreements shall not invalidate the applicability of this
Appendix: Illustrative examples of ownership
faculty member writes a book in her office during normal working hours
using her university-provided word processor. Since the work is
"informational" and does not involve "substantial use" of university
resources (i.e., above those normally available to faculty), she owns
- A faculty member collaborates with an academic
computing specialist to develop software to interactively teach a topic
in chemistry. Since the work is "informational" and does not involve
"substantial use" of university resources, the faculty member and
academic computing specialist jointly own the work, with ownership
share in proportion to the contribution of each.
- A faculty
member writes an article, which includes several illustrations prepared
by the institution’s media department and paid for by the
faculty member’s discretionary funds. At this point, the
faculty member holds the copyright to the illustrations. Upon
submitting the article for publication, the faculty member assigns the
copyright for the illustrations to the publisher. If the faculty member
wishes to use these illustrations in another publication, he/she must
obtain permission from the copyright holder (publisher).
- A staff member is directed to develop an online
system for managing housing on campus. Since this qualifies as "work
for hire," the university owns the work.
- A faculty member develops a program similar to
CourseInfo that enables faculty to easily put courses online. This
software is "device-like" in that it is a tool for creation and
presentation of informational content, rather than informational in
itself. Thus, this software does not fall under this policy. Instead,
it is an "invention," and falls under the Inventions and Patent Policy.
Ownership resides with the university, with the author receiving a
share of all revenues as specified in the Inventions and Patent Policy.
- A scientist uses extraordinary University
laboratory facilities to conduct research that is reported in a
scholarly publication. Although this involves substantial use of
University resources, the work is a scholarly paper and is thus
excluded from the provisions of paragraph III-C of the above section on
ownership. The author owns the paper, not the University.