Eastern University supports the creation and dissemination of scholarly and/or creative works. In particular, the University recognizes and reaffirms the right of its faculty and staff to publish the results of their intellectual or creative labor traditional works — without undue restriction. At the same time, where substantial expenditure of institutional resources is involved in the production of a copyrightable work, the University has equities in it that must be recognized.

A.      Purpose: The purpose of this policy is to clarify the respective rights of the University, its employees, and third-party sponsors regarding scholarly work produced by those working for Eastern University. 

B.      Definitions: For the purpose of this policy, the following definitions shall apply:

University employee: Any full-time or part-time faculty or staff member of the University or any other person with whom the University has an employment relationship.

University resources: Funds, personnel, equipment, and facilities administered by the University or under its authority or control.

Copyright: Protection under U.S. law granted to an author of a copyrightable work or other copyright proprietor of the exclusive right to publish, reproduce, distribute, sell, perform, or display the work.

Copyrightable work: Any original work of authorship in tangible form, including written works, such as books, journal articles, study guides, manuals, syllabi, lecture notes, programmed instructional materials, proposals, musical and dramatic compositions; pantomimes and choreographic works; pictorial, graphic and sculptural works, such as fine, graphic and applied art, photographs, prints, art reproductions, maps, globes, charts, technical drawings, diagrams, and models; films, filmstrips, and other audiovisual works; sound recordings; and computer programs.

Independent contractor: As defined in the University handbooks and policies. Faculty as defined in the Faculty Handbook are not considered independent contractors.

Outside employment: See the definition of “outside employment” (Faculty Handbook).

Substantial expenditures: Expenditures which are beyond normal and customary, not to include computers, office, course reduction for scholarly work, sabbatical time and similar resources normally provided in the course of a faculty members employment.

Traditional Works: Educational, scholarly, artistic or literary works, including books, articles, manuscripts, films, videotapes, CD-ROMs, and musical compositions, and other works of the kind that have historically been deemed in academic communities to be the properties of their authors. As defined herein, traditional works may include texts and other works that are stored on computer media. Computer programs, computer software, or databases may qualify as Traditional Works if they are accessory to, or an electronic expression of, an educational, scholarly, artistic, or literary work of the kind referred to.

Transfer of copyright (exclusive rights): Transfer of all the rights that go with a copyright exclusively to a new copyright holder. For example, in book publishing the author typically transfers exclusive rights to the publisher~ the author no longer has the right to print and sell her own book, because that right now belongs exclusively to the publisher.

Transfer of copyright (on a non-exclusive basis): A copyright holder retains copyright but allows others to exercise specified copyright rights (e.g. making copies of the work, selling it, etc.).

C.   Copyright Ownership: Determination of respective interests in a copyrightable work produced by a University employee will be made in accordance with the following principles:

(1) Traditional Works: Unless they fall under one of the categories in section (2) immediately below, Traditional Works shall be considered the property of the author and may be copyrighted and/or commercialized by the author at the author’s expense.

(2) The University may have an equity interest in the copyright of works produced under any of the following categories:

a)      Works with the aid of substantial University expenditure: Where a copyrightable work is developed with substantial expenditures by the University and is not sponsor-supported, the income derived from such work shall be shared by the parties. The University and employee shall, before substantial expenditures by the University, enter into a copyright agreement by which the copyright is assigned and provision is made for the disposition of royalties.

b)      Works produced as University assignments (“works made for hire”): The copyright in a copyrightable work prepared by an employee in the course of his or her regular employment duties or by special direction or commission shall be the property of the University. Such condition of employment or such directions shall be in writing and shall be agreed to in advance by both the University and the employee. A faculty member’s general obligation to produce scholarly and creative works does not constitute a University assignment in the context of this paragraph. A copyright agreement providing for the sharing of royalties, as discussed later in this policy, may at the discretion of the University be entered into by the University and the employee in regard to the work. All works produced by independent contractors hired by the University are the property of the University unless otherwise agreed to in writing in advance of any such contracted work.

c)      Works produced with sponsor support: Copyright ownership in copyrightable materials developed during work supported partially or in full by an outside sponsor through a contract or grant with the University is determined by the applicable provisions of such contract or grant. In the absence of any governing provision, the copyright shall be the property of the University.

(3) Works produced as a result of outside employment: Works in this category are covered by the policy governing outside employment in the Faculty Handbook.

D.   Apportioning Income and Royalties:  The respective equities of the parties in copyrightable works and the extent of their participation in the income derived from such works shall correspond generally to the categories of ownership described above. Specifically:

(1) Traditional Works: Income from Traditional Works shall belong entirely to the author.

(2) Works produced with the aid of substantial University expenditure: As a general rule, in order to encourage creativity among employees, the University will be disposed to a revenue sharing agreement with those who produce these works and shall enter into a copyright agreement with the producer(s) before initiating them. The agreement shall provide for assignment of copyright ownership; division of royalties from the sale, licensing, leasing, or other distribution of the work; statement of rights concerning revision or withdrawal of the work and the use thereof; and other pertinent terms. In determining an equitable division of royalties, consideration shall be given to the extent of the University’s contribution, by its resources, to the development of the work; any reimbursement to be made for such resources; any costs to be incurred in obtaining the copyright. Ordinarily, the employee shall receive a two-thirds share of royalties, although the particular circumstances of each case shall ultimately govern and a different division may be made.

(3) Works produced as University assignments or with sponsor support: The University may, at its discretion, offer to share a portion of any royalties accruing to it. As a general rule, in order to encourage creativity among employees, the University will be disposed to a revenue sharing agreement with those who produce these works. An appropriate copyright agreement shall be executed at the start of the assignment or support.

      In those instances in which resources of a particular department, center, laboratory, or other University unit are to be used in developing the copyrightable material, the copyright agreement between the University and the employee shall provide for internal distribution of a designated percentage of the University’s share of royalty income to such unit. The University may waive or release any or all of its rights to a copyrightable work in an appropriate case.

E.   Transfer of Copyright:  If a copyright owner holds the copyright to a work used regularly by the University in its instructional, research or public service programs, the University will normally enter into a written agreement with the copyright owner to transfer copyright rights to the University on a non-exclusive basis. (All transfers of exclusive rights will, of course, be in writing.)

The University requests that University employees, when entering into an agreement granting copyright or publishing rights of a work to a third party, make reasonable efforts to reserve to the University the right to use the work in its internally administered programs of teaching, research, and public service on a perpetual, royalty-free, nonexclusive basis.

F.   Distance Learning and Technologies: Since the state of distance learning and technology is evolving and it is not possible to anticipate every issue that may arise, the respective rights of individual faculty members and the University concerning ownership, control, use and compensation will be negotiated with the Intellectual Property Officer in advance on a project specific basis and reduced to a written agreement.

Where the University provides significant specialized services and facilities for the production of courseware to faculty in the preparation of their course materials, the University has an equitable interest in the courseware. If the contribution of the University is a substantial investment, for example in such areas as creative graphics, video editing, production, or similar significant services, the University may be entitled to claim co-ownership rights as a joint author as defined in the Copyright Act. If University services do not warrant the claim of joint authorship, but University services were nevertheless significant, the University may claim royalties commensurate with its investment. (See sections C and D above.)

G. Cooperative Program Agreements: From time to time Eastern University may enter into non-financial cooperative agreements with other institutions of higher education or nonprofit agencies where no outside financial support such as grants to the University is contemplated. In these agreements the University will seek to protect the ownership of materials created during the project by its faculty, staff and students engaged in the cooperative program and will not unilaterally attempt to transfer or assign any intellectual property rights to the cooperating parties.

H.   Student Research and Sponsored Student Academic Projects: Unless otherwise indicated to be a joint project with a faculty member, student work including student research papers are the intellectual property of the student. Unless otherwise indicated to be a “works-for-hire” agreement, research papers and other products resulting from student academic projects such as internships, volunteer academic research assignments, and community based development training programs shall remain the property of the student. Sponsor agreements for internships and similar academic projects must allow student participants to use and to publish project results pertaining to their academic work and to retain the copyright to those works.

Trademark Policy

The name and/or logo of the University may not be used in connection with the publication, display, or distribution of a work where the copyright is in the name of an employee, except upon prior approval of the University or except to show the employee’s affiliation with the University. The University or the appropriate author shall copyright materials on the University website. An appropriate copyright notice is to be included on all University-owned materials on the University website.

Policy Management

The Provost or the Provost’s designee, serving as the Intellectual Property Officer, has the responsibility for administering the principles and policies stated herein on behalf of the University. Actual implementation shall be handled primarily by the Intellectual Property Officer and the Intellectual Property Committee. 

The Intellectual Property Committee, operating in cooperation with the Intellectual Property Officer, is responsible to:

  • Conduct periodic review of emerging intellectual property policy issues, making recommendations for appropriate and applicable changes to the University’s policies to the Intellectual Property Officer
  • Initiate the development of related policies if/when needed
  • Review and render a determination in disagreements concerning intellectual property policies

All University employees shall report to the Intellectual Property Officer any copyrightable work of their own in which the University has or may have an interest. Such reports must be made at the earliest point at which the likelihood of institutional interest becomes reasonably apparent. It is the intent of these policies that, wherever possible, determination of equities, income distribution, and other rights be made before the completion of the copyrightable work.

The employee and the Intellectual Property Officer will determine the classification of the work under these policies, the respective equities of the parties to be reflected in a sharing of royalties or other financial arrangement, and any rights in regard to revision or withdrawal of the work and the use of the Eastern University name and logo. Agreement on these issues shall be reduced to writing in the form of a copyright agreement to be executed by the employee and the Intellectual Property Officer.

If the employee and the Intellectual Property Officer cannot reach agreement, the matter will be submitted to the Intellectual Property Committee. The committee will review all the relevant circumstances and recommend to the Intellectual Property Officer on all issues requiring determination. In the event the employee is not satisfied with the decision of the Intellectual Property Officer, appeal may be made to the President, whose decision is final.

The Intellectual Property Officer shall provide advice and assistance in copyright and related matters to University employees upon request. Those responsible for carrying out programs that may generate copyrightable materials with significant support by the University or a sponsor should seek clarification in advance from the administrator concerning all questions of equities, copyright ownership, and rights as to such material.

The Intellectual Property Officer shall maintain and provide standard agreements necessary to implement this policy.

Policy Education

The Copyright Administrator shall develop and conduct an ongoing program to educate faculty staff and students about the importance of copyright in an academic community. This program should include but not be limited to an annual University-wide information session on copyright issues and the maintenance of pertinent copyright information on the University web site.